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Israeli, US astronauts die in shuttle blast over ‘Palestine’ (BARF ALERT -- Saudi viewpoint)
Arab News ^ | 2 February 2003 | Barbara Ferguson

Posted on 02/01/2003 3:12:56 PM PST by anotherview

Israeli, US astronauts die in shuttle blast over ‘Palestine’
By Barbara Ferguson, Arab News Staff

WASHINGTON, 2 February 2003 — All seven crew of the American space shuttle Columbia, including the first ever Israeli astronaut, were killed yesterday when the craft disintegrated in flames just minutes before it was scheduled to land.

In a tragic irony, the Columbia exploded with its Israeli astronaut on board over a city named Palestine in the state of Texas.

The cause of the disaster was not immediately clear, but residents in north Texas heard a loud boom as Columbia passed overhead.

“I could see two bright objects flying off each side of it,” said Gary Hunziker. “I just assumed they were chase jets.”

Another, John Ferolito, heard a noise “like a sonic boom” as Columbia went over Dallas.

Television footage showed a bright light followed by smoke plumes streaking through the sky. Debris appeared to break off into balls of light as it continued downward. Residents of Nacogdoches, Texas, found bits of metal strewn across the city.

Officials in Washington said there was no indication of terrorism. The disaster, said the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, occurred when the craft was flying at 12,500mph, at a height of 203,000ft, far too high for any ground-to-air missile.

Investigations of technical malfunction may first center on the fact that a piece of insulating foam on the craft’s external fuel tank came off shortly after lift-off on Jan. 16.

Whatever the cause, the accident dealt a powerful shock to American confidence and throws into doubt the entire manned space program.

But President George W. Bush vowed the space program would continue. “The cause in which they died will continue,” he said. “Our journey into space will go on.”

Bush raced back to the White House from the Camp David presidential retreat in response to the tragedy. Earlier, he spoke to the families of the astronauts.

On board Columbia were six Americans and Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, a former air force colonel. The commander of the shuttle was Rick Husband, 45, an Air Force colonel from Amarillo, Texas, who was selected as an astronaut in 1994 on his fourth try. Among his crew were William McCool, 41, a navy commander from Lubbock, Texas, and father of three sons; Kalpana Chawla, 41, one of the two women on the flight, who emigrated to the US from India in the 1980s and became an astronaut in 1994; and Laurel Clark, 41, the flight surgeon, who became an astronaut in 1996 and who has an eight-year-old son.

The mission was the 113th flight in the shuttle program’s 22 years and the 28th flight for Columbia, NASA’s oldest shuttle. The disaster came 17 years, almost exactly to the day, after the shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after lift-off, killing all seven of its crew. In 42 years of human space flight, NASA has never lost a space crew during landing or the ride back to orbit.

As the Columbia’s crew prepared for re-entry, astronaut David Brown joked with mission control: “Do we really have to come back?” As the rising sun burned off the early morning fog the controllers in Houston gave the seven astronauts clearance to begin the run for home. “I guess you’ve been wondering,” they radioed Columbia, “but you are now to go for the de-orbit burn.” Those words marked the beginning of the descent to doom.

“Once again we see that space technology can fail,” Bruce Gagnon, international coordinator for the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, told Arab News last night. “I’m troubled because the Bush Administration has recently announced a program called the ‘Nuclear Systems Initiative’, a $1 billion research and development program to expand the launching of nuclear power into space. The problem is that as you increase the numbers of launches carrying nuclear payloads into space, but you are also going to dramatically increase the chances of a catastrophic Chernobyl in the sky.”

Asked why NASA was advising extreme precaution at the crash sites, Gagnon said: “We haven’t heard that there was a nuclear payload on this shuttle, but one of the great hallmarks of the Bush administration is increased secrecy. I must admit that when NASA said no one should go near a site because of the toxic potential of the fuels and ‘other reasons,’ I couldn’t help but wonder what those reasons are.”

Due to cuts in NASA’s budget in recent years, NASA has been forced to turn to the Pentagon for increased funding, said Gagnon. The result is that the space shuttles are now also NASA missions and carry both military and civilian technologies.

“What you have now is the military takeover of the space program. NASA is not just about gazing at the stars, it now also has a political and military agenda.” What is of concern, he said, is that the Pentagon in now working on a program called the “Space Based Laser.” “Its nickname is the ‘Death Star,’ and its job is to destroy other country’s satellites, and also hit targets on the Earth below. NASA hopes to have the first operational tests by 2016 or 2017,” Gagnon explained.

“This would give the US full control and domination of space and the earth below, because whoever controls space will control the Earth.” (Additional reporting by David Randall of The Independent in New York)


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Israel; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: antibush; antisemitism; columbia; columbiatragedy; conspiracy; deathstar; disaster; feb12003; india; israel; israeli; nasa; palestine; propaganda; saudiarabia; saudiview; spaceshuttle
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Here are our allies, taking time in our moment of national tragedy to remind us that they see our space program as a threat. Sick timing.
1 posted on 02/01/2003 3:12:57 PM PST by anotherview
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To: anotherview
Hell man! There's a town, city or county in Texas named for almost any region or city in the world! God I hate these people.
2 posted on 02/01/2003 3:17:39 PM PST by Live free or die
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To: anotherview
“What you have now is the military takeover of the space program. NASA is not just about gazing at the stars, it now also has a political and military agenda.”


... and since when was NASA anything besides a military technology incubator?

... can the Arabs, indeed the rest of the world, be so stupid as to think that Space is a NON-military-tech zone?

... ever since we reacted to SPUTNIK by beating the Soviet Union to the moon... it should have been obvious. The first thing we have to do, is SECURE our control of, and personell IN space.

That was always the purpose of the entire enchilada... advancement in EVERY technology, advances our nation... our liberty... and hence the freedom and liberty of every nation on the planet.

Oh, I forgot. Saudis, and many "so-called" conservatives, as well as democrat/socialists are TERRIFIED at any form of REAL liberty...

To them, progress would be going back to the seventh century when real visionaries like mohammed, ordered the rape of women and children... married girls as old as 10-11, and surgically altered them for the purpose of creating allah's version of "stepford" wives.

Every discovery of technology, invalidates their stupid cult. No wonder arabs in Iraq and the PA are rejoicing.



Having said that, no missile shot down the shuttle over West Texas... but I wonder, if there were any rag-head symps in proximity to the heat shield tiles prior to launch or during installation?

Would an islamist symp be allowed access to such highly technical and militarily sensitive items?

It would be interesting to know the backgrounds of all the "workers" and "inspectors" who cleared the "challenger" for flight....
I doubt saboteurs would have had access... right?
3 posted on 02/01/2003 3:28:49 PM PST by Robert_Paulson2 (clintonsgotusbytheballs?)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: anotherview
I KNEW this would happen as soon as I heard "Palestine".
5 posted on 02/01/2003 4:02:20 PM PST by Guillermo (Sic 'Em)
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To: BadDogBill
Uncool, man.
6 posted on 02/01/2003 4:04:17 PM PST by July 4th
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To: BadDogBill
inappropriate bdb
7 posted on 02/01/2003 4:13:12 PM PST by Robert_Paulson2 (clintonsgotusbytheballs?)
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: swarthyguy
No more dead astronaut jokes please....
9 posted on 02/01/2003 4:18:49 PM PST by Robert_Paulson2 (clintonsgotusbytheballs?)
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To: swarthyguy
Looks like instant karma got him. ACCOUNT BANNED!
10 posted on 02/01/2003 4:19:15 PM PST by dennisw (http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/weblog.php <AND> http://rantburg.com)
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To: swarthyguy
well, I think we can say goodbye to him... looks like today is a sort of 'spring cleaning' around here... Good riddance, I say...
11 posted on 02/01/2003 4:23:13 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Nothing like a tragedy to bring out the white-sheeters, the whackjobs and the DU sleepers.
12 posted on 02/01/2003 4:28:19 PM PST by CFC__VRWC
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Whatever the cause, the accident dealt a powerful shock to American confidence

So, they think America's confidence has been shaken?

Aren't they in for a big surprise.

13 posted on 02/01/2003 4:31:41 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Howlin
I can't speak for everyone else, but MY confidence has not been shaken... but then, I have always been an arrogant bastard ;0)
14 posted on 02/01/2003 4:34:39 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.)
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To: Howlin
They'll be in for a bigger one if this wasn't a tragic accident.
15 posted on 02/01/2003 4:36:22 PM PST by mewzilla
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To: mewzilla
Amen.
16 posted on 02/01/2003 4:38:20 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Chad Fairbanks
I'll agree with that. :-)
17 posted on 02/01/2003 4:39:05 PM PST by Howlin
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To: anotherview
Whatever the cause, the accident dealt a powerful shock to American confidence

Yeah right. Believe me, we're just as confident as ever that we'll clean up the Arab-Muslim filth in the Middle East without much difficulty. ...And the Saudis are on that list.

18 posted on 02/01/2003 4:42:16 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Howlin
Well, who wouldn't??? ;0)
19 posted on 02/01/2003 4:42:35 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.)
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To: Live free or die
"“We haven’t heard that there was a nuclear payload on this shuttle, but one of the great hallmarks of the Bush administration is increased secrecy. I must admit that when NASA said no one should go near a site because of the toxic potential of the fuels and ‘other reasons,’ I couldn’t help but wonder what those reasons are.”

Hydrazene and nitrogen tetroxide come to mind. Both are used in rocket fuel and both are very toxic.

No secret or conspiracy here folks.

20 posted on 02/01/2003 4:47:29 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: blackbart.223
Hydrazene=hydrazine. I just washed my hands and can't do a thing with them.
21 posted on 02/01/2003 4:56:47 PM PST by blackbart.223
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To: blackbart.223
Years ago at Martin Co. outside of Denver, I worked on ICBM's. I had an associate that was up on the test stand after a firing of the Titan II which was fueled by hydrazine. He walked through a low-lying cloud of the stuff, (its heavier than air) and walked right out of his shoes. It ate his laces off almost instantaineously.
22 posted on 02/01/2003 5:12:32 PM PST by HardStarboard
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To: Chad Fairbanks
I second that.
23 posted on 02/01/2003 5:16:32 PM PST by Afronaut
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To: Afronaut
The 'Confidence' part, the 'arrogant bastard' part, or both? ;0)
24 posted on 02/01/2003 5:17:52 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
All the above, I am working on the arrogant bastard though...
25 posted on 02/01/2003 5:49:49 PM PST by Afronaut
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Howlin

Whatever the cause, the accident dealt a powerful shock to American confidence

So, they think America's confidence has been shaken?

Aren't they in for a big surprise.




I tell ya, if they came to my door and said,
"Tet we just drew your name to ride the next shuttle
on Tuesday." I'd jump in the car and start driving to Florida RIGHT NOW!
27 posted on 02/01/2003 5:55:51 PM PST by tet68
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To: Psycho Constitutionalist
I hope that was sarcasm... I really really hope that was sarcasm...
28 posted on 02/01/2003 5:57:47 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.)
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To: Psycho Constitutionalist
You're an idiot.
29 posted on 02/01/2003 6:00:01 PM PST by ShadowDancer
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: Psycho Constitutionalist
You disgust me.
31 posted on 02/01/2003 6:00:56 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.)
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: Psycho Constitutionalist
I have this funny feeling you wont' be around long enough to find out...
33 posted on 02/01/2003 6:03:31 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
tick tick tick
34 posted on 02/01/2003 6:05:05 PM PST by Orion78
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To: Psycho Constitutionalist
Re: Too bad the whole shuttle wasn't packed with Israelis.

Just how sick can you get?

35 posted on 02/01/2003 6:06:00 PM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (God Speed Columbia Seven)
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To: Psycho Constitutionalist
What the hell?
36 posted on 02/01/2003 6:06:03 PM PST by Marines981
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To: Orion78
ZOT!
37 posted on 02/01/2003 6:06:13 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.)
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To: Psycho Constitutionalist
Psycho Constitutionalist signed up 2003-01-22.

Well the "Psycho" part is obvious.

38 posted on 02/01/2003 6:06:20 PM PST by Davea
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Psycho Constitutionalist signed up 2003-01-22.
This account has been banned.
39 posted on 02/01/2003 6:06:24 PM PST by Orion78
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To: Orion78
Just spring cleaning a little early... been several today - all well deserved.
40 posted on 02/01/2003 6:10:41 PM PST by Chad Fairbanks (We've got Armadillos in our trousers. It's really quite frightening.)
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To: Orion78
Psycho Constitutionalist signed up 2003-01-22.
This account has been banned.

Looks like the AM is doing a good job.

5.56mm

41 posted on 02/01/2003 6:11:14 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: Chad Fairbanks
I love efficiency. :-)
42 posted on 02/01/2003 6:13:07 PM PST by amom
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To: anotherview
Bruce Gagnon, international coordinator for the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

"Global Network Against Americ...," er, uh "...Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space" (yeah, that's the ticket) home page.

Praise & publicity from The Communist Party USA.

43 posted on 02/01/2003 6:19:15 PM PST by Stultis
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To: anotherview
Did it really break up over Palestine, or are they just pulling our legs?

J
44 posted on 02/01/2003 6:24:41 PM PST by jedwardtremlett
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To: amom; Chad Fairbanks; M Kehoe

45 posted on 02/01/2003 6:25:31 PM PST by Orion78
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To: jedwardtremlett
Did it really break up over Palestine, or are they just pulling our legs?

From what I understand, it was directly above Dallas when it started breaking up. They are reporting that debris has been found in New Mexico, Arkansas, and as far south as the Houston area. Some debris may have ended up in the Gulf of Mexico. With a debris field that wide, you could technically argue that it broke up over most of the cities and towns in Texas.

46 posted on 02/01/2003 6:43:14 PM PST by JavaTheHutt
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: jedwardtremlett
You do realize it's Palestine, Texas? Pronounced Pala-steen.
48 posted on 02/01/2003 6:47:45 PM PST by babaloo999
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To: Orion78
hee hee hee

thanks for sharing

:-)
49 posted on 02/01/2003 6:47:56 PM PST by amom
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To: babaloo999
It just happens to be in the general area and nothing more than a bad coincidence. I took off my tin foil hat long ago.
50 posted on 02/01/2003 6:49:29 PM PST by babaloo999
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