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Old 02-01-2003, 09:26 AM   #1
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Contact lost with space shuttle Columbia


JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Houston, Texas (CNN) -- The space shuttle Columbia, with seven astronauts aboard, broke up as it descended over central Texas Saturday toward a planned landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Residents as far east as Shreveport, Louisiana, reported seeing and feeling an apparent explosion.

Search-and-rescue teams from the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area were alerted and area residents were urged to stay away from any possible debris from the shuttle, which may be hazardous, said NASA public affairs officer James Hartfield.

President Bush was being briefed at Camp David, and the Bush administration was preparing to convene a "domestic event" conference among all domestic and military agencies that may be involved in the next step.

An administration official said the shuttle's altitude -- over 200,000 feet -- made it "highly unlikely" that the shuttle fell victim to a terrorist act.

NASA officials said they last had contact with the shuttle about 9 a.m. EST, and it had been expected to touch down at about 9:16 a.m. EST.

Wow, I don't know what to say. Pretty much no chance of survivors aboard the shuttle. Let's just hope no one on the ground was hurt.

Almost 17 years to the day after we lost Challenger.

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Old 02-01-2003, 09:36 AM   #2
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Old 02-01-2003, 09:39 AM   #3
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I just saw that. The pieces are falling over Texas. It's terrible, just like the Challenger back in '86. Someone on TV brought up that they were worried about terrorism and security because we had an Israeli soldier on board. They said whatever it was, the astronauts did not have time to report it, so their communication was gone immediately whether or not they were. What happened? This is very shocking and sad. We'll have to wait for the details to come out.
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Old 02-01-2003, 09:39 AM   #4
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"Just in the past week, NASA observed the anniversary of its only two other space tragedies, the Challenger explosion, which killed all seven astronauts on board, and the Apollo space craft fire that killed three on Jan. 27, 1967."

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Old 02-01-2003, 09:45 AM   #5
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Originally posted by U2Kitten
I hope terrorism wasn't involved. Someone on TV brought up that they were worried about security because we had an Israeli soldier on board.
I also think this is highly unlikely, next to impossible. At the moment of the explosion the space shuttle was at an altitude of more than 60 km. Of course, at this moment you cannot rule out anything so one has to take into account the possibility of sabotage. But I still think it's highly unlikely (why do it now, when there is much more attention at the launch?).

Nevertheless, it is a sad day for NASA and the families of the astronauts.

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Old 02-01-2003, 09:47 AM   #6
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Wierd, January is a bad month for NASA.
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Old 02-01-2003, 09:50 AM   #7
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WARNING to everybody in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, east Texas and West La.- they announced that if you find any debris,


it has a poison gas that will KILL you if you touch it or breath it!

They said breathing the gas will form a membrane around the air sacs of your lungs that will suffocate you to death within 48 hours. I hope no one on the ground has been hurt.
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Old 02-01-2003, 11:15 AM   #8
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I just heard on the local news here in Dallas that a house in a suburb north of me, in Plano, was believed to be hit by a piece of debris and a fire started by it.

I was still asleep at the time all of this was going dad called and woke me up.

Back in 1999 I actually saw the Columbia night landing (different crew) once as it flew overhead and I even took pictures of it.

I am a member of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas so I'm sure I will be hearing many reports about this very sad, tragic event.
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Old 02-01-2003, 12:10 PM   #9
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I have just awaken to totally horrific news. I am still in shock. Please say a prayer for the crew of the shuttle and their families. God Bless them all.
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Old 02-01-2003, 01:25 PM   #10
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What, the Columbia? MY Columbia?

This is the first Space Shuttle. They had it in the film in that special cinema in Washington, a kind of IMAX, I saw it for the first time 18 years ago. Do you remember the glorious take-off. That cant be true. And I remember the Space Center in Houston. My god, whats up there now...why the Columbia? It was the first of all. It was the most beautiful Space Shuttle.

God bless the victims.
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Old 02-01-2003, 01:42 PM   #11
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Very sad.

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Old 02-01-2003, 01:45 PM   #12
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In 1986, I was in my senior year of high school. They announced it over the intercom. After school, I went to work as an aid in my congressman's office. I remember feeling so awful as the TV broadcasts in the office were showing what happened. We were also swamped with phone calls from constituents.

Peace to the families of these brave explorers.
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Old 02-01-2003, 03:11 PM   #13
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I remember the original Columbia too. I made a large scale model of one for a science fair project and got second prize. I worked painstakingly on it for many months.

I had either posters of the shuttle or posters of pictures that the shuttle had taken on my walls for alot of my youth. Guess I was somewhat of a geek.

When I was in Grade 11 the Challenger blew up. I was working in the A/V club (another geeky thing I guess) and I remember wheeling all the available TVs into different classrooms so we could watch the news reports. It had been announced on the PA and as we went from room to room there was a dumb silence as students looked at me with this blank expression, waiting for the set to be turned on, but somehow not wanting me to turn it on either.

Kinda surreal that pretty much double the time (was 16 then, 32 now) a similar occurrence has happened again.

May God bless their families.
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Old 02-01-2003, 03:24 PM   #14
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I can't believe this has happened again

It is kind of surreal, like gabrielvox said. 17 years ago, I got up early to watch the Challenger launch because of the teacher in space program. I was holding my 11 month old son while I watched the explosion and I just could not believe what I was seeing.

My son is now 17 years old and this morning he woke me up and told me to turn on the TV. 17 years later, we watched another space shuttle tragedy together.

So sad
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Old 02-01-2003, 04:10 PM   #15
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isn't this horrible?

s to all who need them.
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Old 02-01-2003, 06:06 PM   #16
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Old 02-01-2003, 06:19 PM   #17
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I'm freaked out. How sad. I'm so shocked and upset about the deaths.
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Old 02-02-2003, 06:44 AM   #18
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Old 02-03-2003, 09:04 AM   #19
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Couple who lost a son on Sept. 11 now loses niece aboard the shuttle

Sat Feb 1

By MIRANDA LEITSINGER, Associated Press Writer

DES MOINES, Iowa - Astronaut Laurel Clark's death on the space shuttle Columbia was the second sudden and very public tragedy to hit Doug and Betty Haviland in 17 months.

Laurel Clark was their niece and her final moments were broadcast again and again on television Saturday, exploding white dots 200,000 feet (60,000 meters) above the Earth.
On Sept. 11, 2001, television had first brought tragedy. The Havilands were watching after the World Trade Center absorbed the impact of a terrorist-piloted jetliner, burned, then collapsed with their 41-year-old son Timothy inside.

"It was a very deja vu sort of thing, you know, we watched those towers smoking and eventually collapsing and then you see this space shuttle breaking apart. Here it is all over again," said Doug Haviland, a 76-year-old retired Episcopal minister of Ames, Iowa.

Clark, 41, was one of seven astronauts on board the space shuttle when it disintegrated streaking over Texas toward a landing at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Saturday.

The Haviland's son, Timothy, worked for Marsh & McLennan Inc., on the 96th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. He and Laurel Clark were friends as well as cousins.

"Tim had planned to go the launch, but it was not to be," said his mother, Betty Haviland, 73.

Instead, Clark and her son ended up attending a memorial for Timothy in November 2001.

Timothy's wife, Amy, lost a brother in the Sept. 11 attacks. Robert W. Spear Jr., 30, was a firefighter with the New York Fire Department.

Betty Haviland couldn't but mention the slim chances of any husband and wife watching the broadcast deaths of two loved ones.

"Grief and death happens to a lot of people, but you don't usually watch it on national television and not once but a thousand times. And you can't not watch because that's your son or your niece up there," Betty Haviland said.

Doug Haviland said he spoke briefly Saturday with his sister, Marjory, Clark's mother.

"She's in the most difficult situation in this event. So I'm sure she's feeling pretty numb and swamped as we were when the 9/11 tragedy happened," Haviland said. "Hopefully, we can support her as much as possible."

Astronaut Clark was born in Ames while her father studied at Iowa State University. She lived in the central Iowa town for two years before moving with her family to Racine, Wisconsin, which she considered her hometown.

The Havilands said they got to see Clark at family gatherings or when she came to visit her 96-year-old grandmother at an Ames retirement home.

Doug Haviland said his last message from her was an e-mail sent to relatives from space.

"I just picked (it) up yesterday. She was, you know, thrilled taking lots of pictures and could see the area in Wisconsin on one of their pass-overs where they had lived for several years ... looking forward to sharing all this with her friends and family," Haviland said. "She died doing what she wanted to do."

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