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STS-107 MCC Status Report #22

Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

STS-107 MCC Status Report #22 
Tuesday, February 4, 2003 - 8:00 p.m. CST 
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas 

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. The
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 this afternoon and will begin unloading its supplies on

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

Two STS-107 Accident Response briefings will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 5
and will be broadcast on NASA Television with multi-center question and
answer capability for reporters at NASA centers. The first briefing 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. 

Status reports will be issued as developments warrant. 

NASA TV is on AMC-2, Transponder 9C, vertical polarization at 85 degrees
west longitude, 3880 MHz, with audio at 6.8 MHz. 

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