[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

NASA PROVIDES UPDATE ABOUT COLUMBIA INVESTIGATION



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

Glenn Mahone/Robert N. Mirelson
Headquarters, Washington                                                 
Feb. 4, 2003
(Phone: 202/358-1600)
 
Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center
(Phone: 281/483-5111)
 
RELEASE: 03-051
 
NASA PROVIDES UPDATE ABOUT COLUMBIA INVESTIGATION
 
     As NASA paused to pay tribute to Columbia's astronauts, the 
agency reported making "considerable progress" in recovering debris 
from the Space Shuttle and analyzing data in the search for clues to 
what caused the orbiter to breakup 16 minutes before its landing last 
Saturday.
 
President and Mrs. Bush joined NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe in 
honoring astronauts Rick Husband, William McCool, Dave Brown, 
Kalpana Chawla, Mike Anderson, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon in a 
ceremony at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. President Bush said 
the nation was "blessed" to have such men and women serving the 
space program, and although NASA is being tested at this time, 
"America's space program will go on."
 
In an afternoon briefing, Michael Kostelnik, NASA's Associate 
Administrator for International Space Station and Space Shuttle said 
several engineering teams continue to work round-the-clock to 
reconstruct the timeline of the final minutes of Columbia's flight from 
extensive data that is being analyzed.
 
Kostelnik said the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, chaired by 
retired U.S. Navy Admiral Harold W. Gehman, Jr., is on scene at 
Barksdale Air Force Base, La. where the recovery of debris and human 
remains is being coordinated.
 
Kostelnik reported that larger and denser pieces of debris have been 
found in Louisiana, possibly including parts of Columbia's main 
engines. He said recovery teams have been dispatched to California 
and Arizona, where debris has been reported. Kostelnik indicated 
debris recovered from areas farthest to the west would be critical, 
possibly providing information about the early stages of Columbia's 
breakup.
 
Earlier today, a Russian Progress resupply ship successfully docked to 
the International Space Station at 9:49 a.m. EST, delivering a ton of 
food, fuel and supplies to Expedition 6 Commander Ken Bowersox, 
Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin and NASA ISS Science Officer Don 
Pettit. Progress has given the Station resident crew a "solid" supply of 
consumables, enough to sustain operations through at least late June, 
according to Kostelnik.
 
Bowersox, Budarin and Pettit opened the hatches between the ISS 
and the Progress today, and they will begin unloading its supplies on 
Wednesday.
 
Asked about contingency planning for the Station for the rest of the 
year, Kostelnik said all options to sustain a human presence on board 
in the temporary absence of Shuttle flights are being explored. The 
next Shuttle flight aboard Atlantis in March was to have brought the 
Expedition 7 crew to the ISS and returned to Earth the current resident 
crew.
 
Two STS-107 update briefings will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 5. 
They will be broadcast on NASA Television with multi-center question 
and answer capability for reporters at NASA centers. The first briefing, 
with NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight Bill Readdy, is 
from NASA Headquarters in Washington at 11:30 a.m. EST. The 
second, with Space Shuttle Program Manager Ron Dittemore, from the 
Johnson Space Center, is at 4:30 p.m. EST.
 
NASA TV is on AMC-2, Transponder 9C, vertical polarization at 85 
degrees west longitude, 3880 MHz, with audio at 6.8 MHz     

________________________________________________________________
Sign Up for Juno Platinum Internet Access Today
Only $9.95 per month!
Visit www.juno.com
----
Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org



AMSAT Top AMSAT Home