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Space Shuttle Columbia Lost

RossInfoMan

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Feb. 1) - NASA declared an emergency after losing communication with space shuttle Columbia as the ship soared over Texas several minutes before its expected landing time Saturday morning.

The shuttle was carrying the first Israeli astronaut and six Americans, and authorities had feared it would be a terrorist target.

Fifteen minutes after the expected landing time, and with no word from the shuttle, NASA announced that search and rescue teams were being mobilized in Dallas and Fort Worth areas.

Inside Mission Control, flight controller hovered in front of their computers, staring at the screens. The wives, husbands and children of the astronauts who had been waiting at the landing strip were gathered together by NASA and taken to separate place.

Columbia was at an altitude of 200,700 feet over north-central Texas at a 9 a.m., traveling at 12,500 mph when mission control lost contact and tracking data.

NASA, while not saying the shuttle had exploded, broken up or crashed, warned that any debris found in the area should be avoided and could be hazardous.

There were reports of debris seen falling.

In 42 years of human space flight, NASA has never lost a space crew during landing or the ride back to orbit. In 1986, space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff.

Security had been tight for the 16-day scientific research mission that included the first Israeli astronaut.

Ilan Ramon, a colonel in Israel's air force and former fighter pilot, became the first man from his country to fly in space, and his presence resulted in an increase in security, not only for Columbia's Jan. 16 launch, but also for its landing. Space agency officials feared his presence might make the shuttle more of a terrorist target.

On launch day, a piece of insulating foam on the external fuel tank came off during liftoff and was believed to have struck the left wing of the shuttle.

Leroy Cain, the lead flight director in Mission Control, had assured reporters Friday that engineers had concluded that any damage to the wing was considered minor and posed no safety hazard.

AP-NY-02-01-03 0949EST
 

AJBurnett34

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That was really sad when i am seeing the shutle blow up in the air.I hope they come out alive which is most unlikely but i wish they do.I think what cause the shuttle not to be controlled is when it went off it probaly burned or broke something when they took off.... :unsure :
 

Mephisto

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Man this is really sad i hope is not because of terrorist because that would mean a greater possibility of war.
 

Das Texan

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truly a tragedy....


i dont know what can be said other than my thoughts and prayers are with those affected from this....



and i am not even going to speculate what occured....
 

1truefan

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Sucks big time....reminders of the Challenger..way back in 1986.

Das...seen any Debris around you? I have been watching the news and I can't help but wonder if you were affected by it.
 

Das Texan

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I didnt even hear it....


my mom called at noon...


i was just getting up...


had no clue until i turned on the news....


it seems that the news station i watch, the abc affiliate, wfaa in dfw....showed the breakup live......


they were showing it on their morning news program as it streaked across the sky headed to florida, as generally happens.....but instead the destruction of the shuttle occured instead....its eerie...


but the debris field really begins about 50 miles east of me...


epicenter they say near Nacodoghes (sp?), Texas.


Definitely a tragedy and this has been on the dallas news station all day....
 

Das Texan

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and ps...


i never saw challenger live like 95% of the school children in America did....



my school was too poor to afford television.
 

1truefan

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it's on our news too..been on..

I saw this and one the things that popped into my head was you. it's like oh crap someone I know lives around there....
 

Das Texan

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Should be interesting to hear what NASA says in a few minutes....
 

1truefan

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you said it DT...

Hard time for everyone...

Sux to be GWB right now.
 

AJBurnett34

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yea it better not be terroisom if not....wwe will attack and we will win but the FBI said it wasnt terroism though! ;)
 
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Was this the shuttle Justin Timberlake was going to be on???
 

Rune

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Was this the shuttle Justin Timberlake was going to be on???

It was one of the other guys in that group and no that was a russian mission. This wasn't even going to the space station.
 

Mephisto

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yea it better not be terroisom if not....wwe will attack and we will win but the FBI said it wasnt terroism though! ;)

You talk as if going to war is a simple thing. If we go to war it will probably be WWIII which a horrible thing. Then it could last for years and when we turn 18 we will be drafted to go to war! So is not like oh go to war we'll win no problem.
 
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It was one of the other guys in that group and no that was a russian mission. This wasn't even going to the space station.

Oh, I can't keep up with these names. Alright...
 

1truefan

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Admin---> Lance Bass

It's wasn't an act of terrorism...Obviously JBeckett and Lowell won't remember the Challenger....It happens
 

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