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NASA Mishap Response Status #02

Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

NASA Mishap Response Status #02 
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2003 - 7 p.m. CDT 
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas 

Two trucks containing debris from the space shuttle Columbia arrived at
Kennedy Space Center (KSC) this morning. They were the first bringing
debris from Barksdale AFB near Shreveport, La., to KSC where
investigators will lay them out, about as they were positioned on

Members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) arrived at
KSC about 11 a.m. EST today. The group toured facilities, including the
Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2, housing the Shuttle Endeavour, and Bay
3, where Discovery is undergoing maintenance. The CAIB also visited the
Vehicle Assembly Building where Shuttle Atlantis, with its external tank
and solid rocket boosters, is atop its mobile launch platform. The CAIB
met at intervals throughout the day with KSC officials to get an overview
of ground processing activities. 

On Thursday the board is scheduled to visit the Solid Rocket Booster
(SRB) Disassembly Facility and tour the SRB assembly and refurbishment
facilities. Members also will visit the Launch Control Center and Launch
Pad 39A, where Columbia was launched. 

Retired Navy Admiral Harold Gehman, CAIB chairman, spoke briefly with
news media representatives. He said the CAIB wants to look at four things
at KSC: launch procedures; Shuttle refurbishment between flights; the
Columbia mishap reconstruction site; "and be sure in our own minds the
process here for Columbia reconstruction meets our investigatory needs."
The efforts will take place in the Reusable Launch Vehicle Hangar located
adjacent to the Space Shuttle runway at KSC. 

Gehman described the trip to KSC as an orientation visit. He said the
CAIB would return to KSC a number of times during the investigation. The
CAIB is scheduled to travel to Huntsville, Ala., and then New Orleans
before returning to Houston Saturday night. Gehman said Sunday would be a
workday, and that the board would be working seven- or six-day weeks
"from now on." 

More than 2,500 federal, state and local employees continued to search
for Columbia debris in Texas and Louisiana today. Officials say they have
the resources to cover every body of water in the debris trail within 5
weeks. While teams continue to investigate reports of debris as far west
as California, no confirmed pieces of debris from Columbia have been
found west of the Fort Worth, Texas area. 

Hundreds of items continue to be collected from areas in eastern Texas
and western Louisiana. Several hundred items were shipped in the past 24
hours to Barksdale from locations in Lufkin, Nacogdoches and Hemphill,

The International Space Station's Expedition 6 crew, Commander Ken
Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin and NASA Station Science
Officer Don Pettit, took time Wednesday for interviews with CNN, ABC, CBS
and NBC representatives. They talked about their shock and grief after
being told the morning of Feb. 1 by Johnson Space Center Director
Jefferson D. Howell Jr. of the loss of Columbia, and their willingness to
remain aboard the ISS as long as necessary. 

For more information about NASA on the Internet, see: 


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