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NASA STATEMENT ON LOSS OF COMMUNICATIONS WITH COLUMBIA



Robert Mirelson
Headquarters, Washington          Feb. 1, 2003
(Phone: 202/358-1600)
 
RELEASE: 03-030
 
NASA STATEMENT ON LOSS OF COMMUNICATIONS WITH COLUMBIA
 
     A Space Shuttle contingency has been declared in 
Mission Control, Houston, as a result of the loss of 
communication with the Space Shuttle Columbia at 
approximately 9 a.m. EST Saturday as it descended toward a 
landing at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla.  It was scheduled 
to touchdown at 9:16 a.m. EST.
 
Communication and tracking of the shuttle was lost at 9 a.m. 
EST at an altitude of about 203,000 feet in the area above 
north central Texas. At the time communications were lost. 
The shuttle was traveling approximately 12,500 miles per 
hour (Mach 18).  No communication and tracking information 
were received in Mission Control after that time.
 
Search and rescue teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth and in 
portions of East Texas have been alerted.  Any debris that 
is located in the area that may be related to the Space 
Shuttle contingency should be avoided and may be hazardous 
as a result of toxic propellants used aboard the shuttle. 
The location of any possible debris should immediately be 
reported to local authorities.
 
Flight controllers in Mission Control have secured all 
information, notes and data pertinent to today's entry and 
landing by Space Shuttle Columbia and continue to 
methodically proceed through contingency plans.
 
More information will be released as it becomes available. 
 
-end-
 
 
 

 
 

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