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NASA Mishap Response Status #05

Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

NASA Mishap Response Status #05 
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003 - 2 p.m. CST 
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas 

STS-107 Mishap Response Status Report #5 Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003 - 2 p.m.

Two additional attitude control jets aboard Columbia fired after voice
communication was lost with the shuttle, an analysis of data from the
subsequent seconds indicates. Two other yaw control jets were known to
have fired earlier, but the analysis indicates that a third and fourth
yaw jet also activated in an attempt to maintain control of the vehicle. 

One of five General Purpose Computers aboard Columbia also has been found
among debris shipped to the Kennedy Space Center. The computer was badly
damaged and its battery was missing. General Purpose Computers have no
hard drives, so investigators held out little hope of extracting
additional information. 

A shuttle main engine turbopump has been recovered not far from Ft. Polk
in Louisiana. The pump was buried about 14 feet below the ground's

As of early Saturday, the western boundary of the debris field remained
just west of the Fort Worth, Texas, area. Still, teams continued to
investigate reports of debris as far west as California. A search for
debris is under way in the Sandia Mountains just east of Albuquerque,
based on witness reports of sonic booms and impact noise in that area. 

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board Chairman Adm. Hal Gehman today
announced the appointment of Sheila Widnall, former Secretary of the Air
Force, to the board. Dr. Widnall is a member of the faculty of the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Gehman and some of the board
members are scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday at 2 p.m. CST at
Johnson Space Center in Houston. 

Board members spent today at the Michoud Assembly Facility near New
Orleans, where shuttle external tanks are fabricated. The board planned
to return to Houston Saturday night. 

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