Columbia Breaks Up During Reentry; NASA Fears Crew Lost

By Keith Cowing
February 1, 2003
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Columbia Breaks Up During Reentry; NASA Fears Crew Lost
sts crash

10:28 AM EST: Space Shuttle Columbia broke up as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere this morning – the crew is now feared lost.

Contact was lost with Space Shuttle Columbia at 9:00 AM EST as
Columbia was passing over Texas at an altitude of 200,000 feet, travelling around 12,500 mph (Mach 6) at that time contact was lost. NASA has now declared a contingency.

Video shown on CNN of Columbia passing over Dallas Fort Worth clearly shows multiple trails indicative of debris. Local residents report loud noises normally associated with an airplane impact and saw debris spiraling out of the sky.

Search and rescue teams have been alerted to respond in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

NASA is warning anyone who finds debris to leave it alone since it may contain hazardous materials.

NASA’s Kyle Herring said on CNN “there’s no doubt we’ve had a bad day”.

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