January 2, 2003
The Salt Lake Tribune -- Of Many, One Published in Salt Lake Tribune
The diversity of the crew -- three white American men, a white American
Mercury News | 02/01/2003 | Shuttle debris rained on Texas
PALESTINE, Texas - Columbia's explosion shortly after 8 a.m. Central Time, spewed wreckage along a 120-mile swath from the Dallas-Forth Worth area southeast to DeRidder, La. In addition, some human remains were found in Sabine County, Texas, near the Louisiana border, according to Sheriff Tom Maddox. The remains were placed in bags and taken by hrse to the office of the nearest medical examiner in Lufkin. While wreckage was scattered widely in the county, ``Only a small number (of sites) had human remains,'' Maddox said. In Montalba, Texas, residents found a rounded piece the size of a car hood beside a highway.
The Globe and Mail: Breaking News
At 9 a.m., Mission Control lost all data and contact with the crew.
At the same time, residents in eastern Texas reported hearing "a big bang."
It was the 113th flight in the shuttle program's 22 years and the 28th
flight for Columbia, NASA oldest shuttle. In 42 years of U.S. human space
flight, there had never been an accident during the descent to Earth or
landing. On Jan. 28, 1986, space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after
liftoff. "These astronauts knew the dangers, and they faced them willingly,
knowing they had a high and noble purpose in life," Mr. Bush said. To the
families of the astronauts, Mr.
Aubrey's Cafe in Nacogdoches3, Texas, became a hub of sad activity Saturday, as students and residents gingerly took in the vast amount of shuttle debris that rained upon their town.
"It shook the whole town," said Mark Choate, 22, a student at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches. "Then everywhere, from pieces in my front yard, to all the way across town at the bank, there's coned areas that are blocked off. There's pieces of spaceship everywhere."
R.T. Gregory, 70, a waitress at Aubrey's, walked over to a 4-foot piece of debris in front of the town's Commercial State Bank.
"It just made me sad, because I knew by looking at it someone had lost their life," Gregory said. At the spot, she prayed, "just an ordinary prayer."
Folks who have come into Aubrey's over the day "have been sad about it, they've wanted to come in and talk about it," Gregory said.
Choate said that outside, in Nacogdoches' roads and yards, "everyone's out there with cameras."
"You walk down the strip of downtown, and everywhere you walk is another cone, and another small piece, because each piece is marked off. And it's taking them awhile to collect all the different pieces all over town."
As national heartbreak fell over the skies of Texas, the state's flags were lowered. It mourned some its own. Shuttle commander and Air Force Col. Rick Husband, of Amarillo, Texas, earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University. Shuttle pilot Willie McCool attended Coronado High School in Lubbock, and mission specialist Kalpana Chawla earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas-Arlington.
"The thoughts and prayers of all Texans are with family members of the
astronauts lost in today's tragedy," Texas Gov. Rick Perry said.
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