Sonntag, 3. Februar 2013 - 17:50 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Iran´s Raumfahrt-Pläne



Iran Manufacturing Hi-Tech Spacesuits
Iran's Space Agency officials announced that they have launched production of spacesuits along with their attempts to produce spacecrafts.
Head of Aerospace Research Institute (ARI) of Iran Mohammad Ebrahimi told Mehr News that Iran has plans to send human to outer space, and that technology for spacesuit production is hi-tech, attainment of which is very expensive and needs high knowledge as well. 
"Iran has moved into this technology recently, joining few countries in the field," he added. 
Ebrahimi also asserted that sanctions have not held back Iran from progress in aerospace, and Iran has embarked on the project for production of these critical facilities and remaining in the space competitions. 
"By the next 8 years, Iran will gain the technical knowledge of spacesuit design and development. The technology is highly expensive, the production cost of it being tantamount to the price of one kilogram of gold," he explained. 
"As project manager, the Institute will cooperate with Shiraz Mechanics Research Institute, and we estimate that spacesuits will be produced by the time Iran sends man to outer space," he asserted. 
Head of Iran's Space Agency (ISA) Hamid Fazeli on Sunday said his agency plans to send big animals and even human being to short and long space journeys in the not far future. 
Fazeli said the country plans to first send big animals, including chimpanzees, into the space in the near future and then send human beings aboard a bio-capsule to a specific altitude into the outer space and return them within less than 30 minutes. 
"The plan for sending and returning humans to and from the space will be carried out by the next four years and the plan for sending a human being into the space and putting him into the earth's orbit will be launched in the next 10 years," Fazeli added. 
The ISA head pointed out that so far only three countries have achieved the know-how. 
On January 8, Secretary of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution Mokhber Dezfouli said that Iran has prepared plans to send more living creatures into the space on the back of its home-made rockets. 
"The aerospace plan is a single document for the country based on which we are seeking to send living creatures into the space," Mokhber Dezfouli said in Tehran at the time. 
He expressed the hope that sending living creatures by Iran will be a prelude to sending human beings into the space. 
In relevant remarks in March 2012, Fazeli announced that the country plans to send a monkey into the space on the back of Kavoshgar (Explorer) 5 rocket in the near future. 
He said that the Iranian shuttle, Kavoshgar-5 carrying monkey to space will be launched into space during March-August 2012. 
"Kavoshgar-5 will carry a biological capsule containing a monkey into space. This is actually a prelude to preparing Iran for sending a human astronaut into space before 2021," Fazeli said at the time. 
In mid-March 2011, Iran's space organization announced the launch of the Kavoshgar-4 rocket carrying a test capsule designed to house the monkey. 
The capsule had been unveiled in February 2011 by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, along with four new prototypes of home-built satellites. 
At the time, Fazeli called the launch of a large animal into space as the first step towards sending a man into space, which Tehran says is scheduled for 2020. 
Iran has already sent small animals into space - a rat, turtles and worms - aboard a capsule carried by its Kavoshgar-3 rocket in 2010. 
The Islamic republic, which first put a satellite into orbit in 2009, has outlined an ambitious space program and has, thus far, made giant progress in the field despite western sanctions and pressures against its advancement. 
Quelle: FARS
Update 29.01.2013
Iran 'successfully sends monkey into space'
Images of the monkey being prepared for lift-off were shown on Iranian television
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories
Iran opens space facility to media Watch
Iran to put man in space by 2019
Iran says it has successfully sent a monkey into space.
The primate travelled in a Pishgam rocket, which reached an altitude of some 120km (75 miles) for a sub-orbital flight before "returning its shipment intact", the defence ministry said.
Iranian state TV showed images of the monkey, which was strapped into a harness, being taken to the rocket.
Western nations have expressed concern that Iran's space programme is being used to develop long-range missiles.
Such missiles could potentially be used to carry nuclear warheads.
Iran denies it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and insists its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes.
Turtle and worms
Satellite technology expert Pat Norris told the BBC that Iran's claim to have sent a monkey into space was not a major advance on what its space programme had already achieved.
The monkey was sent up in a Kavoshgar rocket dubbed "Pishgam" (Pioneer)
The achievement was similar to launching a missile at 4,828km/h (3,000mph) and having its warhead survive the flight - something Iran had done in several tests in recent years, he noted.
However, the survival of the monkey, without incurring any injuries, would demonstrate that the acceleration and deceleration of the rocket were not too severe, Mr Norris added.
In 2010, Iran successfully sent a rat, turtle and worms into space. But an attempt to send a monkey up in a rocket failed in 2011.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in 2010 that the country planned to send a man into space by 2019.
A domestically-made satellite was sent into orbit for the first time in 2009
Quelle: BBC
Update: 3.02.2013

Monkeying around: Iran's space launch a hoax?

Examination of before/after photos of monkey allegedly launched by Iran into space reveals what appears to be 2 different monkeys.

Before (left) and after (right) photos of Iranian monkey(s) Photo: Screenshot


Iran’s announcement on Monday that it had successfully launched a monkey into space and returned the primate safely to Earth was hailed by the country's media as a victory of the Iranian spirit over Western sanctions. But close examination of before and after photos released by Iran show what appears to be two different monkeys, indicating that Iran's space program may not be as advanced as the country would like to portray.

A distinctive red mole above the right eye of the monkey disappeared in the "after" photo. In addition, the monkey's fur seems to have changed colors from a light gray to a darker brown.

The launch had initially alarmed some in the West because the long-range ballistic technology used to propel Iranian satellites into orbit could be put to use dispatching nuclear warheads to a target.

“People are speaking about it a lot, and rightfully so,” said Brig-Gen. (res.) Asaf Agmon at the eighth annual Ilan Ramon International Space Conference in Herzliya. “[Iran’s] space program is connected to their missile program and the science you need to launch a monkey into space is the same that you need to send a warhead over the Atlantic Ocean, so there’s a connection and the world can’t ignore it.”

The new photo evidence could suggest that the launch of the "Pishgam" (Pioneer) craft did not actually take place, and might alleviate Western fears over Iranian advances in space technology.

Quelle: The Jerusalem Post


Sonntag, 3. Februar 2013 - 16:00 Uhr

Mars-Curiosity-Chroniken - Curiosity-News Sol 170-172


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 23:04:14 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 23:11:29 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 23:13:54 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 23:18:52 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 23:39:13 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 23:50:56 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 23:51:25 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 23:53:50 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 23:56:34 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-28 00:01:06 UTC) .


This image was taken by Navcam: Right A (NAV_RIGHT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 18:19:27 UTC) .


This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Right A (FHAZ_RIGHT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 170 (2013-01-27 18:18:52 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 171 (2013-01-28 20:23:29 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 172 (2013-01-29 23:08:41 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 172 (2013-01-29 23:13:52 UTC) .


This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 172 (2013-01-29 23:33:00 UTC) .


This image was taken by ChemCam: Remote Micro-Imager (CHEMCAM_RMI) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 172 (2013-01-29 21:15:49 UTC) .


This image was taken by Navcam: Right A (NAV_RIGHT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 172 (2013-01-29 21:21:57 UTC) .


This image was taken by Navcam: Left A (NAV_LEFT_A) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 172 (2013-01-29 16:05:10 UTC) .



Sonntag, 3. Februar 2013 - 14:16 Uhr

Mars-Chroniken - Curiosity Mars-Rover hämmert in den Fels


Before and after: Curiosity uses its drill system for the first time


The Mars rover Curiosity has used its drill system for the first time.

The robot's tool bit hammered briefly, without rotation, into a flat slab of rock on the floor of Gale Crater, the huge bowl where it landed last August.

Pictures taken before and after the operation reveal the indentation left by the tool's action.

Although previous rovers have scrubbed the surface of rocks, Curiosity is the first to carry the capability to drill inside them.

US space agency (Nasa) engineers are taking a step-by-step approach to the procedure.

They need to check both the rock and the drill are behaving as expected.

If the target slab is deemed suitable, a number of test holes are likely to be drilled - using the rotation as well the percussive action - before a powdered sample is picked up and delivered to Curiosity's onboard laboratories.

The rover's mission is to try to determine whether Gale has ever had the environments in the past that were capable of supporting bacterial life.

Detailing the composition of rocks is critical to this investigation as the deposits in the crater will retain a geochemical record of the conditions under which they formed.

Drilling a few centimetres inside a rock provides a fresh sample that is free from the alteration that can occur at the surface as a result of weathering or radiation damage.

Curiosity landed on the Red Planet on 6 August last year.

It has since driven east of its touchdown point to a location that satellite images had identified as an intersection of three distinct geological terrains.

The robot is currently in a small depression dubbed Yellowknife Bay. The rock selected for the first drilling is a very fine grained sedimentary rock cut through with veins of what appear to be a calcium sulphate.

This rock also has a name - John Klein, taken from a recently deceased Nasa engineer who worked on the rover project.

Scientists are thrilled with the progress of the mission so far. Many of the rocks, like the ones in Yellowknife Bay, show clear evidence of deposition in, or alteration by, water.

Shortly before rolling into the bay, Curiosity identified conglomerations containing small rounded clasts, or pebbles, indicating the past presence of fast running water, most likely in a network of streams.


In this mosaic assembled by Ken Kremer and Marco Di Lorenzo, the rover is seen at the drilling location in Yellowknife Bay


Quelle: NASA


Sonntag, 3. Februar 2013 - 11:55 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Die Mythen: Ufo attacks Columbia -Teil-8



Subject: Columbia 5th Anniversary -- Mystery of the Purple Lightning Zig-Zag Photo
Date: Thursday, January 10, 2008 3:10 PM // Jim Oberg news media client advisory:
1. One angle on the fifth anniversary of 'Columbia' is the festering controversy over the
famous 'lightning bolt strikes shuttle' photograph that has been all over cable TV and the
Internet as 'the secret cause of the Columbia crash.'
2. The pictures, taken by an amateur astronomer named Goldie and loaned to NASA,
remain copyrighted by him, so only pirated copies are on the internet. Here's the main
one: or
A drawing of the image is here:
3. The purple zig-zag sure does look weird, and in the early post-disaster days, all leads
were followed up. An excellent newspaper account is at
4. Both NASA and independent photoanalysts quickly realized the zig-zag was just the
initial shaking of the camera on its tripod as the photographer triggered the start of the
time exposure.
5. But it sure doesn't LOOK that way, and a lot of folks -- who did not understand what a
shuttle entry fireball really looks like – were genuinely puzzled.
6. Suggestion: It shouldn't take much effort to reproduce the visual and mechanical
conditions under which these images were made, to demonstrate to those still wondering
about -- and those strenuously rejecting -- the 'official answer'.
7. Here's the missing visual clue: the flaring fireball of plasma around the shuttle itself
leaves a milky-white glowing trail behind it, a trail that persists and slightly widens over
the next 30-60 seconds as the shuttle passes over head.
8. I've seen it myself, maybe 8-9 times from Texas, when Florida-bound shuttles cross
our clear (sometimes), dark skies (it's too dim to show up against a bright sunlit sky).
9. So even an instant photo of an entering shuttle would show a long white trail off
behind it.
10. Add in a time exposure, where the entire tail gets to burn its way onto the optics and
the actual fireball is just a dot that dances briefly, then follows the well-marked trail
down its center, and you have a formula to generate an image that looks exactly like the
ones that Goldie took.

11. After each exposure, he moves the camera on its tripod and trips the start button
again, recreating the same phenomenon each time to greater or lesser degrees.
12. Several years later, a TV documentary called 'Megalightning' (David Monaghan
Productions/HTV West, National Geographic Channel, 9-12-2004) discussed the
possibility the zig-zag was such a bizarre phenomenon (transcript at They gave a pretty good history of the
puzzle and concluded that the jiggled camera was the explanation.
13. Now, do a google on 'shuttle columbia shot down' and look at the thousands of hits.
Read some of them! Bizarro!
14. Some of the looniest stuff has (as usual) been on YouTube, where a self-promoting
UFO nut named David Sereda (yes, he has a blog, and sells videotapes) describes how it
was a death ray from the aliens:
What's scary is to read the comments posted by viewers who swallow the idea -- they
sound like a legion of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich volunteers.
15. Here's some further details about how shuttle fireballs really look:
Images of shuttle fireball trail: (NOT a time exposure – trail is persistent)
Entire section on Columbia entry imaging…
Discussion of physics of the persistent trail
16. Here's a detailed description from Dr. David R. Bretz, 'Principal Imaging Scientist' at
the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, in a report he wrote in 2005:
17. "The purplish color was typical of the glow seen around the moving orbiter, while the
greenish color was typical of the luminous trail left in the wake which lasted for a longer
period and did not drift quickly. In this picture, the shutter was opened after the orbiter
was already within the frame, not before it entered. So the purple wiggle is the orbiter
during the bump and the continuous green streak behind it is not from the orbiter itself,
but from the trail.
18: "Once the bump was over, the orbiter and trail filled in the line. The observer stated
he had no cable-release to prevent the wiggle of the camera at the shutter depress.
19. "This was only one of several photos which were submitted with a similar purple
wiggle caused by the orbiter itself and an unsteady tripod.
20: "When I was first shown this picture, I too was tempted to think the purple wiggle
was extraneous to the orbiter until I realized the orbiter did not begin off the frame."

21: "If this were a picture of a nominal re-entry, the image would look the same. The
colors are typical based on a review of video taken of STS-109 re-entry over Houston."
Bretz, END.

Fotostrecke Columbia:

Columbia's fallen crew

The space shuttle Columbia's crew members pose for a group photo. From left, front row: commander Rick Husband, Kalpana Chawla, pilot William McCool. Back row: David Brown, Laurel Clark, Michael Anderson and Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon.

Columbia was destroyed on Feb. 1, 2003, during its return to Earth, because of a hole in its wing that allowed in super-hot atmospheric gases.


Recovered from the debris

This picture of Columbia's crew members was on a roll of unprocessed film recovered from the debris after the shuttle's disintegration. The crew members strike a "flying" pose for their traditional in-flight crew portrait in the Spacehab research module. From left (bottom row), wearing red shirts to signify their shift’s color, are Kalpana Chawla, commander Rick Husband, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon. From left (top row), wearing blue shirts, are David Brown, William McCool and Michael Anderson.


Prelude to disaster

The space shuttle Columbia passes over the Owens Valley Radio Observatory north of Bishop, Calif., at 5:54 a.m. PST on Feb. 1, 2003. The camera is pointed north, and the shuttle is passing from west to east, from the left to the right side of the photo. Minutes after this picture was taken, the shuttle broke apart over Texas, killing all seven astronauts.


Tragedy strikes

Debris from the space shuttle Columbia streaks across the sky over Tyler, Texas, on Feb. 1, 2003. Columbia broke apart in flames 200,000 feet over Texas, killing the crew just minutes before they were to glide to a landing in Florida.


Trail of debris

Smoke rises from a small brush fire started by a falling piece of debris from the space shuttle Columbia outside Athens, Texas. Thousands of pieces fell to Earth after the shuttle broke apart in the skies over Texas on Feb. 1, 2003.


Grim evidence

A helmet, believed to have come from the space shuttle Columbia, lies in a field near Lufkin, Texas, on Feb. 2, 2003.


Reconstructing the Columbia

In the RLV Hangar at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the floor grid is dotted with pieces of Columbia debris on March 13, 2003. The Columbia Reconstruction Project Team arranged the recovered pieces of the orbiter as part of the investigation into the accident that caused the destruction of Columbia and the loss of its crew.


Quelle: NASA



Sonntag, 3. Februar 2013 - 11:29 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Die Mythen: Ufo attacks Columbia -Teil-7




The spacecraft was crippled by 'space lightning' during re-entry, but NASA covered it up.

A widely circulated image taken in California showed the shuttle's fireball streak with a zigzag line catching up with it. Two effects produced this optical illusion. First, a shuttle re-entry typically leaves a persistent streak across the sky that lasts several minutes. Second, the camera was taking a time exposure on a tripod, so when the "open" button was pushed, it briefly shook, laying down the zigzag.

UFO attacks Columbia ?


Visual Observations of Space Shuttle STS-72 Entry
In January 1996 there was a fortunate concatenation of orbital trajectories, shuttle activities, ground lighting
conditions, weather, and 'time available' to alert a network of amateur sky watchers that the fireball entry of
a space shuttle might be visible. Together with NASA trajectory experts Gil Carmen and Dan Adamo, I
posted Internet instructions on what to look for and where and when.
"We [in Houston] are expecting a very nice northern pass of the STS-72 entry fireball tonight, about 1:27
AM CST, at an elevation a bit below 20 degrees," was my last message prior to the actual event.
There was one more item to ask for. "People who are nearer the STS-72 entry ground track -- say, with
viewing elevations of 60 degrees or more -- may want to participate in simple experiments to characterize
the still-mysterious 'electrophonic sound' phenomenon associated with bright natural fireball meteors (or
'bolides'). For centuries there have been occasional eyewitness reports of hissing or swishing sounds
simultaneous with fireball passage. Although these reports were long dismissed as imaginative, it has now
been established that radio noise in the 8-10 Khz band is generated in the bolide plasma trail, and that such
radio noise is powerful enough at a witness's location to acoustically couple into certain materials,
generating ambient and non-directional sound. The types of material most effective in this radio-to-sound
coupling are still in need of better characterization, and they include dry pine branches or other dried leaves,
crumpled aluminum foil, dry frizzy human hair or wigs, eyeglass frames of all materials, metal fences and
sheet metal buildings, and any other materials that have small-scale structure and some freedom of vibratory
motion. Viewers are encouraged to set up experimental samples for observation, and to report ANY sorts of
sounds as well as the types of materials in their environs."
In Houston, the weather was bad and we saw nothing. But in the hours that followed, an amazing chain of
reports filtered in by email. This turned out to have been one of the best observed shuttle fireballs in history.
Gil Carman received this sighting report from Ken Harris on Maui, Hawaii. It passed over there at 380 kft,
so apparently there are enough air molecules to start creating a plasma glow then, as he suspected.
Date: Saturday, January 20, 1996 2:36AM
From: Ken Harris
Whoa! Saw it! Just when and where you predicted. The glow was barely visible, but I could see bright
flashes of light, which I assume were RCS burns. It was moving quite a bit faster than I'm used to seeing
it*. It streaked right past Orion. Went home and turned on HNN and they covered the landing (we got no
NASA Select). Thanks again.
*JEO: An angular motion effect of the much shorter range (lower altitude, 75 miles versus normal 200-300
miles). Actual velocity at this point was only a bit higher than normal for orbital altitude.

From: (Alan Varner)
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 14:51:42 LOCAL
Saw the shuttle reentry here in Tucson starting at approximately 12:22AM. There was an orange spot that
came out of the west with a very bright trail streaming behind it. The trail was bright white directly behind
the shuttle. The trail and view continued until the shuttle past out of sight in the east. The light from the
shuttle was bright white in the center and deep red at the edges. A look at the trail with binoculars made it
look very much like an illuminated jet trail. No sonic boom was heard
From: (Justin Davenport)
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 10:48:20 -0700
Well, what do you know -- I got out of the house just before 12:20 am MST and looked in the southern sky.
The horizon was obstructed somewhat by palm trees but I saw the Endeavour low on the horizon, passing
between the trees. I saw a bright burnt orange dot, which was large and easily visible, like the planet
Jupiter, move from west to east and the dot was about 5 degrees above the horizon. It was spectacular to
say the least. I didn't see any "neon tubes" or contrails -- but maybe that was because the shuttle was pretty
low on the horizon. . . .
From: Cranston Reid
To: Carman, Gilbert L.
Date: Saturday, January 20, 1996 8:51PM
Thanks so much for alerting us to one of the most beautiful, fantastic sights of the night sky! Wonderful
view from Lubbock, TX @ 11.0 deg. elevation. I plan to be at the ground track next time. --Cranston
Reid (WA5TBB)
From: (Gary Eckhardt)
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 23:07:38 GMT
Since everyone else is submitting their stories...
After getting off work around 12:30am or so (I really HATE Oracle Financials), I came home, broke out a
few homebrews, and praised homage to the gods of the weekend. After flipping through a few TV channels
for about 50 minutes, I decided it was time to let the dog out for his final patrol of the backyard and hit the
hay. While waiting for the dog to make sure that there were no intruders in the yard, I looked over to the
NorthEastern horizon, and saw what looked like a laser beam of some type, stretching from horizon to
Hmmm. A laser beam. Nope, that can't be it, cause there's that nice bright fireball that's making it. Maybe
a meteor. Nope, never seen a meteor leave a neon looking trail....and what's looks like smoke?

HHHHHMMMMM....let's see....1...2...3 ok, 3 beers since I got home. Well, I've never seen little green
men on that few beers, so just what the heck is this thing? Maybe I'm going to be incinerated by a nuclear
blast while I stand here? HHHMM...nope, that can't be it.
I walked inside to see if indeed we were being invaded by spacemen or about to see a nice big fireball, and
turned on CNN Headline News. About that time they were discussing the shuttle and that it was about to
land in about 10 minutes. WOAH! Was that the Shuttle?!
I came in and logged onto the net, and fired up the newsreader to search Yep, that's what
it was.
Anyway, it was really one of the coolest things I've seen in the sky. And I feel fortunate that I accidentally
stumbled across it!
- - - - - (Gary Eckhardt)
Date: 96-01-21 02:39:16 EST
I read your post on, and I suddenly realized that I did hear the swishing sounds as the
shuttle passed overhead. Not a very scientific experiment, I know, but there was a definite "strange" sound
outside, one that caught my attention when I walked outside and looked up into the sky. (I saw the re-entry
by ACCIDENT, I was out on the back porch getting the dog inside....)
What it sounded like was what you would expect to hear from a jet passing at a very high altitude, but
without the wavering in volume like you hear from a jet. Just a low, constant, swishing sound.
What I'm hearing is that many people were clouded over, but we had **CRYSTAL** clear sky in SA.
From: (Charles C. Claunch)
Date: 96-01-21 15:58:15 EST
Wanted to thank you again for the shuttle viewing data (and please pass this along to others whose data you
posted). It was fantastic, comparable visually to a Titan 34D launch I saw years ago.
The shuttle and its trail, both orange, were visible through trees near the horizon. Although the sky was
relatively bright from ground lights and hazy besides, third magnitude stars were easily visible in Orion and
Canis Major. We seemed to be able to see slight ripples in the trail within a few degrees of the shuttle. The
trail persisted for several minutes; as it faded, short one-half-degree gaps appeared in it separated by a few
degrees, and they grew with time as the trail faded. The shuttle and trail were visible again through trees
near the southeastern horizon.
This sighting was a special thrill for my mom. Though a fan of the space program since the beginning (we
have a photo she took from our TV with a Rolliflex box camera of Armstrong stepping onto the lunar
surface), she had never seen any event of consequence live. She is 69 and unlikely to get to the Cape or to
California for a launch, so this re-entry was almost literally the thrill of a lifetime for her.
From: (Jon M Wiley)
Date: 21 Jan 1996 04:38:08 GMT

I can sincerely say it was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen in my life. I saw it under
completely clear skies several miles north of Austin at about 1:24am CST. I watched it go from horizon to
The shuttle was a bright blue-orange speartip blazing a brilliant neon-orange contrail of ionized gas. The
contrail faded from orange to yellow to green and spread out. I didn't time it, but it was visible for longer
than 5 minutes, more like 7. It looked like it began to curve to the south when it was about 5 degrees above
the horizon, the beginning of an S-turn?
If more people could have seen what I saw, NASA's budget would be much larger.

ROUND ROCK (north of Austin)
From: banjo (Jim)
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 1996 00:13:48 -0600
In Round Rock, Texas, I watched it travel from horizon to horizon. Really impressive. Much faster than the
time I saw the shuttle in orbit trailing a satellite with MIR following. (unrelated missions, they just were in
the same area are the time) . Wish I had had my binoculars. It left a trail that stayed around awhile. The
shuttle was glowing. Dumb question. Why was I able to see a "contrail" at 1:25 AM?
From: (Joe A. Dellinger)
Date: 96-01-21 18:45:54 EST
My relatives in the Dallas / Fort Worth area were MOST impressed . . . . My father said it was one of the
most spectacular things he had ever seen in his life. (He's about to turn 70.) Many thanks for drawing up the
predictions and sending them to me!

From: (Thomas J. Bunce)
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 01:44:33 -0600
Hey, Y'all I just saw the shuttle entry about 10-15 minutes ago and it was SPECTACULAR! I used to
simulate the shuttle entry and landing for Lockheed (for JSC) and I never knew how wonderful the entry
really was until now. If you ever have the opportunity in the future, it's worth a _long_ drive to get to a
place to view it.
I'm in Arlington, TX (Smack dab in between Dallas and Ft Worth) and even with all the light pollution, it
was really bright (several times brighter than Sirius), and left a trail all the way across the sky. I expected it
to be farther south on the horizon and barely visible, but it was actually fairly high at about 30 degrees.

Subject: STS-72 re-entry viewing from in the middle of nowhere
From: (Jerry Matulka)
Date: 20 Jan 1996 10:54:38 -0600
This morning at o'dark thirty, my family and I were able to witness a most amazing sight. Words are not
adequate to describe what it is like to view a shuttle re-entry in person out in the middle of nowhere.
Endeavour and the crew of STS-72 put on a most spectacular show.
Our viewing location was from just South of Fairfield Texas on a country road West of I-45 and South of
Highway 179. We live in Dallas and could have seen the re-entry from there, however we (mostly me)
wanted the best possible view. So it was time for a road trip. I loaded up the entire family into our van and
set out from Dallas at about 11:15 PM or so. Our entourage included my wife, two teenage daughters, one
teenage son, one granddaughter, and one sister-in-law. The most amazing thing to note about this assembly
was that mutiny was never threatened.
Our precise viewing location was selected on the fly. Based on the chart listing viewing opportunities for
various US cities, a friend of mine and I deduced that the ground track for the shuttle would take it
somewhere near Buffalo, Texas. Buffalo was our goal, but when the time approached 1:05 and we still
weren't there I was getting nervous. It was time to take the next exit and find a safe place to park. We
stopped the van at about 1:15 AM so we had about 11 minutes to wait.
The weather was brisk and the temperature was probably around 30 degrees. However by now adrenaline
was in full swing, so the temperature didn't matter. The sky was perfectly clear. If you haven't been out in
the country away from city lights in a while to look at the stars, you really need to try it. While waiting for
the shuttle to fly over, we were treated to a couple of shooting stars. It was obvious that these weren't
Endeavour because they were flying the wrong direction.
We waited with some apprehension. The first issue was, did the de- orbit burn ever happen or did they
wave it off. We left Dallas at 11:15 so that was a good hour and thirty minutes before Endeavour was to
commit itself to re-entry. Not having a portable satellite dish we were waiting in the dark (pun intended).
The second point of apprehension was how fast was this thing going to be? Were we talking shooting stars
that if you blinked you missed it?
My wife was the first of our group to sight the object of our quest. On the South Western horizon was what
looked like the fire trail from an extremely large 4th of July rocket. The difference was that this fire trail
kept climbing. How majestically and graceful it rose. The speed of the pass was similar viewing an orbital
pass. It went almost straight overhead, perhaps 5 or 10 degrees off vertical. The two hour drive hit pay dirt.
The ionization trail stayed illuminated in the sky for some time. It was like a huge neon tube from horizon to
horizon by the time the pass was over. I thought the color was orange. Of course my night vision was
slightly disrupted by looking in the view finder on the video camera. My wife and my son thought the color
was green and white while it was over head. One daughter also thought it was orange. My sister-in-law
thought it was cream colored. The other daughter did not comment on the color since she watched from
inside the van with her baby.
There was a slight breeze, so not a lot of sound was able to be heard from the passing fireball. At times you
could hear something caused by the passing, but I'm not sure how to describe it. A fireball is also a
misnomer I think. The shuttle was glowing sort of white hot trailing an orange contrail. I really don't think
I could make out the shape of the shuttle it looked just like a glowing amorphous form to me.
As it passed overhead you could see the contrail coming off in a broken pattern similar to smoke. Then it
was gone. I didn't time the how long it was visible, but the duration was more than adequate. We waited and waited for what seemed like an eternity after the shuttle had disappeared beyond the horizon. In reality
it was probably only about 3 or 4 minutes. Then the sonic boom came. It wasn't the loudest of booms that I
heard, but there was no mistake of what it was.
The party was over, but it was well worth the effort. January 19 was my granddaughter's first birthday.
What a candle, Endeavour provided for it (OK so it was a little late). My family is sort of getting used to my
crazy expeditions. Back in April of 94 while we were in Florida for the launch of STS-59, I also dragged
them out in the middle of the night to watch an Atlas launch. Fortunately for me the Atlas delivered then
and the STS-72 crew of Endeavour delivered last night, otherwise I might still be tied up to a tree out in the
middle of nowhere.
jerry matulka

BUFFALO (south of Dallas on I45)
From: "david (d.h.) cheek"
Date: Monday, January 22, 1996 8:27AM
Thanks for the info on the shuttle re-entry. I've been trying to see one for about a year and this time was
successful. I went to the picnic stop on I-45 between Fairfield and Buffalo, near mile marker 188 to have a
better chance to hear the boom. It worked. I heard it about 3:30 after closest approach, which was a little
difficult to estimate since the track when so close to overhead. I would estimate the highest elevation at over
50 degrees.
The west part of the plasma trail was visible to the unaided eye even as the shuttle disappeared into the trees
in the east. In fact, the west trail was visible after the east end had disappeared. The overhead part of the
plasma trail broadened out to about 30 arc minutes wide before disappearing. I think the west end did that
also but it was harder to estimate. On the east end, about ten degrees above the horizon, the trail appeared
to curve off the right, or south. Was this a maneuver by the shuttle, or just an illusion? The west and
overhead portions of the tail did appeared straight.
The boom was soft and muffled, nothing like a lower altitude boom from an aircraft. It was still easily
distinguishable above the clatter of all the nearby idling diesels. Non of their drivers seemed to be aware of
what was happening.

HUNTSVILLE (north of Houston)
Date: 96-01-20 16:00:35 EST
From: LoydO@AOL.COM
I saw the shuttle reentry from 60 miles north of Houston near Huntsville Texas. It was breathtaking. The
fireball took about 90 seconds to go from one horizon to the other. I have a video production company in
Houston so I used a broadcast quality camera to record the event. The footage is fantastic. All four tv
networks here bought A copy of the footage and will run on the news tonight. (1-20-96). Fire trailed the
shuttle for at least 90 deg. If you every get a chance to witness a night reentry I urge you to. You will
never forget it.

HUNTSVILLE (north of Houston)From: (Aaron Rodzinak)
Date: Jan 22 2:11 PM
Me and a friend drove north on I-45 out of Houston last Friday night until we were about 15 miles north of
Huntsville, TX. We wanted to get as far from the glow of Houston's lights as we could and we weren't sure
how bright the entry of STS-72 was going to be since we'd never witnessed one before. We pulled off on an
exit ramp a little after 1:00 am Saturday morning to wait for Endeavour on a clear and moonless night. From
the schedule we got off a friend at work, we figured the Shuttle would pass over us at 1:26 am with an
elevation angle of about 50 degrees or so to the northern horizon. It flew over right on time and in position
of where we suspected. You couldn't miss it!! As it appeared from the western horizon, it looked like a
really bright star leaving a white contrail (with a slight orange hue) against the dark sky. The contrail was
unbroken from horizon to horizon even after the Shuttle disappeared to the east. Soon, the contrail began to
dissipate and as it did, the orange hue turned to red until nothing was left. We waited and listened to
witness the sonic boom or the mysterious radio resonance, but it was obvious that we were still too close to
the interstate to hear anything other than the passing cars. I bet there were several unsuspecting motorists
out there that night that will swear they witnessed a UFO!

CLEVELAND (north of Houston)
From: (Hale, N. Wayne, Jr.)
Date: Jan 22, 1:02 PM
I was camped with my Boy Scout Troop at Double Lake Campground in the Sam Houston National Forest
near the town of Cleveland Texas (about 85 mile N. of JSC). After ascertaining via cell phone to the MCC
that deorbit had occurred, several of us crawled out of our warm sleeping bags (temp in the high 30's at that
point) and went to a large field where the thick pine trees did not obscure the view.
However, after having crystal clear conditions at bedtime (about 10:30 CST) it was completely overcast at
our location. Therefore we have no report of visual observation, but can make this report of audible
Away from virtually all human presence, the night extremely quite and still. The shuttle sonic boom was
clearly and quite loudly heard approximately 01:33 AM CST. (It even awakened some of the sleepers back
in camp that had not gotten up, but was not loud enough to rattle windows at the nearby shower house).
The sonic boom was clearly a double report (very closely spaced sounds) and was distinctly followed by a
swishing or hissing sound for 3 to 5 seconds. This sound was similar to an ball or other object passing
rapidly through the air. Since by my estimate it takes 2 to 3 minutes for the sonic boom to reach ground
level at nadir (and even longer to our location since we were not directly under the ground track), this
should have been well after the shuttle passed its closest approach and therefore likely does not represent
some sort of radio signal being transformed to audible sound by local objects.

HOUSTON (mostly clouded out, except....)
From: (B.J. Guillot)
Well, I stayed up late and managed to catch a brief shot of the shuttle re-entry at about 1:28 am Houston
time. It was about 80% cloud cover, so I only saw a very short trail, bright white in color, maybe a tint of
yellow. The trail seemed to vanish after about 20 seconds. (Last time, I thought I heard that it was visible

for up to 5 minutes, but this was pretty short.). If it had been clear skies, it would have been great. Too bad
the weather spoiled most of it.
Date: 21 Jan 1996 21:51 CST
In article, writes... Damn. In Clear Lake it was too cloudy. I stayed outside for a
couple extra minutes but didn't see anything, so I went back inside to watch the landing. Maybe next time....
Yes, there was just a little hole in the clouds that I was staring at. I thought to myself--no way will it pass
through that whole in the clouds, that looks much higher than 15 degrees.
"I'm not going to see it--I'm not going to see it--WOAH!!!!"
:-) The hole in the sky was small, but I got one whooper of a view for those 20 seconds that the clouds
didn't disrupt the view.
B.J. Guillot ... Houston, Texas USA

BAY ST. LOUIS , Louisiana
From: "Terry L. Jones"
Date: Sunday, January 21, 1996 2:06AM
Gil, I didn't get your message on this until now, but I did get your first entry list showing Gulfport and
Biloxi. Thanks for adding Bay St. Louis. I don't have a low lux camcorder, in fact I don't have a camcorder
at all, but I could probably get my hands on one for the next time.
Now, about the entry...IT WAS AWESOME!
We probably don't get better opportunities very often, since the strong arctic air mass was just starting to
move off of us. The humidity was low, and I live out in the country, so I got a really good show! My wife
and I went out about 7:20 GMT to let give our eyes a chance to adjust. I'd never seen an entry before, so I
wasn't sure what to expect. I wasn't sure if I'd have a tough time finding it in all the stars. That turned out
to be a very naive concern! I had absolutely NO problem seeing Endeavour as she broke the horizon!
This incredibly bright orange-yellow streak began to appear, clearly visible through the low trees on the
horizon. I estimate that Endeavour was no more than 1 degree above the horizon when I first spotted her.
The plasma trail stretched behind her at least 1/3 of the way across the sky. If I had had a camera, I could
have taken just one picture with Endeavour in the sky, and the plasma trail reflected in my 3/4 acre pond..all
the way across the water..and it would have been a prize winner! The pulsing of the light at the heat shield
was clearly visible.
I live about 10 miles north of Bay St. Louis, so Endeavor went almost directly overhead. after she passed
by, the trail faded and went out, and Endeavour became merely a bright point of light until she winked out
I have about 30 ducks that I raised on my pond, and they were all sleeping on the far bank, looking east.
Being birds, they pay attention to the sky, so when Endeavour got to about 30 degrees elevation, the drakes
started up! Then the hens got into it. They were clearly upset by Endeavour! They didn't panic, but it was
very clear to my wife and me that they were not happy about the apparition in the sky, they clearly saw it
and were watching it intently, and that they were debating if it was a mortal threat. Trust me, I raised these

guys from eggs...incubated them myself and raised them by hand. I know them and what they want and
what they are saying! They aren't very complex creatures, so its rather easy to learn to "speak duck". They
were riveted on Endeavour's entry, but not in awe, but trying to decide if it were a threat. Birds pay
attention to the sky, even if most of these guys are too fat to fly (I feed them well and they grew very big!).
But birds are birds...even ducks. Ducks learn at an early age to watch for hawks and other predatory birds.
We have hawks a-plenty here, so its something they are attuned to. They used to get upset when the Great
Blue Heron came to fish, but he's a regular now, and they simply give way to him without commotion.
Back to Endeavour....Mary and I then waited for the Sonic Boom. I started timing about 2:15 after TCA,
just when we were starting to think we wouldn't hear it...the ducks were mostly settled back down, and all
was very occasional dog in the distance....**BAHHWHUMP-BA**!!!! I turned to my wife and said
The sonic boom convinced the ducks..they had almost forgotten the plasma trail (anything different
fumbuzzles them)...only an occasional soft quack or two from the drakes remained....When they heard the
sonic boom, they said "That's it! Its DEFINITELY something that could eat us!!!" And they all "put to sea"
in unison...they quickly got into the water and clustered up in the center of the pond! The only time I've
ever seen them move faster is then a dog or fox surprises them, and they "crash" "scramble" into the water
as fast as possible. That's an uncontrolled panic.Endeavour elicited a "controlled" panic response!
It was a very uplifting experience. I wanted to cheer them on home. When I brought down the Air to
Ground audio after Wheel-stop, two local hams thanked me for the audio, and commented that they also
went out to watch the entry.
So, I appreciated the data, and would love to see it in the future, any time it applies here. I posted it on our
local packet internet node, and if you dot mind, I'll put it on my Web page:
Thank you again! My wife and I deeply appreciated the "heads up" ! My ducks didn't, but being as they are
only ducks, its hard for them to understand, so I didn't bother to share the data with them! Besides, it wasn't
your data they objected was Endeavour! I told them to take it up with Brian Duffy!
Btw...they executed a steering maneuver before they reached me, so it (the plasma trail) had this really nice
smooth bend in it...It was obviously a piloted craft by the shape of the contrail.
From: "Terry L. Jones"

Date: Sat, Jan 20, 1996 8:00 PM EDT
From: (Ted A. Kirchharr)
Shuttle was visible in a crystal clear sky. Trail was only visible through binoculars. To the naked eye it
appeared to a blinking star as it crossed the sky.
Oberg to Kirchharr: Ted, this was a very important observation since nobody was really sure how far down
into the atmosphere the fireball and trail persisted. Any further details on brightness, steadiness, etc., will be
highly valued!

Kirchharr to Oberg: I'm sorry to say my order of magnitude ratings left me when I left college 'lo those
many years ago. It appeared about the same brightness as it would on normal pass an hour or so after sunset.
There was a bit of yellow tint to the light. It was not a steady light, different than a blinking star low in the
sky. It would nearly disappear for a fraction of a second. Hope this helps.
That's it! What a run!

 Quelle: NASA



Samstag, 2. Februar 2013 - 18:41 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Die Mythen der NASA Raumfähre Columbia Katastrophe-Teil-6


Fortsetzung von Teil5:

Myth - There was ice mixed in with the foam which struck Columbia

Many people refused to believe a block of foam you can puncture with your finger could destroy the shuttle. Their theory was the foam was like a sponge, absorbing water that changed to ice because of the supercold propellants inside the tank. These hypothetical “foamsicles,” if they existed, would be far stronger than ordinary foam.

The New York Times claimed Columbia spent two weeks longer than usual at the launch pad, where it was exposed to four times the usual amount of rain. The problem is the phrase “than usual.” The schedule from rollout to launch requires a minimum of two weeks, but it's extremely flexible depending on holidays and other scheduled activities. Columbia spent 39 days on the launch pad for STS-107 – exactly what was planned when it rolled out on December 9. – to the minute -–there wasn’t a single delay. The average time a shuttle spends on the launch pad is 38.2 days, so STS-107 was almost exactly average. (There were 33 missions that spent more time on the pad, as much as 5.3 months in one case.)

STS-107’s ET was exposed to rain, just like every other mission. Weather records show 12.78 inches of rain during Columbia’s stay on the launch pad, versus an average of 5.45 inches for all launches -– not the “four times” claimed by the Times. There was nothing extraordinary about rain and STS-107.

Could any amount of rain be absorbed by the foam and turn into ice? No. The ET's foam is formulated as closed cell foam and designed to repel water. (A Styrofoam picnic cooler is an example of closed cell foam; it doesn't absorb water. A sponge, in contrast is open cell.) Water is weight, and if the foam did absorb even a tiny amount of water, the vast amount of water-soaked foam would reduce the amount of payload that could be carried into space. CAIB head Hal Gehman noted, “In all the testing we did, we were unable to get this foam to absorb much moisture. It doesn't matter how much it rains on it.” No water, no ice. No ice, no foamsicles.

The reason a piece of foam could damage Columbia is simple - kinetic energy. Just like a pencil penetrating a tree during a tornado anything with a large velocity carries a large amount of energy. The 1.67 pound piece that struck Columbia's wing at over 500 m.p.h. carried as much punch as a compact car hitting a brick wall head-on at 9.4 m.p.h..


Myth – The paint which was used on the STS-1 External Tank prevented foam from coming off

The first two shuttle launches, STS-1 and STS-2, had white-colored External Tanks. The tanks were painted white for thermal insulation purposes. After engineers determined that the paint wasn’t necessary and the foam had enough insulating properties by itself the decision was made not to paint any of the later tanks. Not painting the tanks saved 600 pounds which translated into additional payload the shuttle could lift into space.

However it’s a myth that foam wasn’t lost from the white colored tanks. NASA records show three areas where photographs showed that foam was missing from STS-1's tank. This rare photo is from the engineering film from the umbilical well camera mounted in Columbia's belly. At the limited resolution of the film a fist-size chunk of missing foam is just a single pixel so only larger divots can be seen.

NASA's internal engineering reports show three places where missing foam was seen on the liquid hydrogen tank: a 5" circular divot where it appears the substrate layer underneath was exposed in the aft tank (roughly 2/3 of the way to the right in this image), a 16" x 12" divot 27 feet from the bottom of the tank, and a 15" x 20" divot 37 feet from the bottom of the tank. All of these missing pieces were located close to the gaseous hydrogen pressurization line which runs horizontally at the top of this photo behind the much wider 17" liquid oxyen supply pipe.

After Columbia’s landing inspectors found 247 damaged tiles (more than the next two flights put together) with much of the damage due to the foam lost from the External Tank during the launch.

It’s also important to note that the white paint is almost the same color as the foam before it cures into its orange color, which makes it more difficult to detect any lost foam. So it’s likely there was more damage which went undetected because of the white paint.


Myth - Left wing environmental policies doomed the shuttle

According to some claims, EPA regulations that eliminated Freon caused the foam to fall off.

CFC-11 Freon was used to apply the Spray On Foam Insulation (SOFI) to the ET, and the formula was changed because of EPA regulations. The new method did result in more foam falling off and hitting the shuttle, most notably STS-87, which had 308 damaged tiles, but that was not the type of foam which doomed Columbia.

In the mid-1990s, the EPA banned CFC-11 Freon. NASA has many waivers from the EPA for critical items. In each case a commercial supplier is licensed to produce the limited quantities NASA needs, but it’s incredibly expensive to manufacture the relatively small quantities just for one customer. Lockheed-Martin went through a major effort to find a more environmentally friendly propellant. (It wasn't something they wanted to do, but a necessity.) They selected HCFC 141b (Dichlorofluoroethane). HCFC 141b is only used to spray acreage foam –applied to the large cylindrical surfaces with a giant robotic sprayer.

The bipod foam which doomed Columbia was BX-250 foam, which was excluded from that EPA mandate. Technicians built the bipod by hand, layer by layer, and carved it into shape. The manufacturing process for the bipod and its chemical composition did not change and still used CFC-11. No changes to environmental regulations caused the Columbia accident.


Myth - Israeli spy satellite photos show Columbia exploding

Another person with a sick sense of humor claimed that an Israeli spy satellite took photos of Columbia as it exploded. The photos are actually from the fantasy film 'Armageddon'. Israel's spy-Earth resources satellite EROS did take photos of Columbia, but it was the day before launch when it was still on Earth! Imagesat, the commercial firm which distributes EROS data proudly released images of the Vehicle Assembly Building and Columbia on Pad 39A during the STS-107 mission.


Quelle: James Oberg / NASA / NBC



Samstag, 2. Februar 2013 - 18:32 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Die Mythen der NASA Raumfähre Columbia Katastrophe-Teil-5


Fortsetzung von Teil4

Myth - Nostradamus predicted the Columbia accident

Would you believe that soothsayer and prophet Nostradamus predicted the Columbia accident hundreds of years ago? There was an Internet message floating around shortly after the accident (always a standard for high credibility) that read -


In the mission of the first blue star,
a child of the holy land among the seven shall perish,
as the ship descends heavens sky,
the lone star be scattered with wreckage.


It got everything right and "lone star" can be interpreted as either Ilan Ramon (for the Star of David) or the Lonestar state of Texas. But this "verse" is actually a fake created just after the accident by somebody with a very sick sense of humor.


Myth - Ilan Ramon broadcasted video of the cracked wing

Israeli television station "Erev Hadash" stated that Ilan Ramon had shown Prime Minister Ariel Sharon views of the shuttle's wing with cracks in it during their interview over a week before the accident!.

The images were actually slightly out-of-focus payload bay blankets in the forward part of the shuttle's cargo bay which were transmitted from Columbia the day before the interview. What looks like cracks are the natural folds in the payload bay blankets.

Note the black cylinder in the image, part of the latch which closes the shuttle's cargo bay doors.

For comparison look at the photo of Mike Anderson and Dave Brown taken several months before the launch when they inspected Columbia's cargo bay. Brown is staring at that black connector because one of the few spacewalking tasks Anderson and Brown were trained to do was to close the cargo bay doors manually if there was a problem with the mechanism.

The image shown on Israeli television. The actual image from the day before the Sharon interview.

Dave Brown studies the payload bay door closinmechanism




Samstag, 2. Februar 2013 - 18:21 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Die Mythen der NASA Raumfähre Columbia Katastrophe-Teil-4


Myth - Columbia's debris hit the ground at incredible speeds because of their fall from the extreme altitude

Many people insist that Columbia’s debris hit the ground at incredible speeds because of the altitude they fell from. But that’s wrong. Physics professor Bart Lipofsky said, "Terminal velocity is the maximum speed anything can achieve when falling through an atmosphere." Dense streamlined objects can reach a terminal velocity of a couple of hundred miles per hour.

At extreme altitudes there's less pressure and less drag so an object can fall faster, but once that object descends to the lower atmosphere its terminal velocity decreases and it slows down. Lipofsky noted, "For an object entering the atmosphere from outer space the fringes of the atmosphere will slow it down to terminal velocity far above the Earth's surface."

Nevertheless many refused to believe these laws. One reporter insisted, "Columbia's pieces were falling faster when they hit the ground because of its high altitude. I've taken physics, I know what I'm talking about." Lipofsky said, "Maybe next time when he takes physics he should actually open his book and read it because he's completely wrong."

When Columbia came apart everything inside - from stickers to the massive turbopumps - fell and accelerated until they reached their own terminal velocities. In the rarified upper atmosphere, they would have continued to accelerate to very high speeds, but once they entered the lower atmosphere they would slow down to ordinary terminal velocities. Light fluffy objects had a terminal velocity of less than a mile per hour, the most dense aerodynamically shaped objects could have had terminal velocities of a couple of hundred miles per hour. Nothing could have been traveling any faster by the time it reached the lower atmosphere.


Myth - NASA said there were no photos of Columbia's wing

NASA stated that the BOTTOMof Columbia's wing could not be viewed from within the crew cabin, or the areas closest to the fuselage. That was misinterpreted by some who thought that NASA said no portions of the wing were visible from the crew cabin. One conspiracist pointed to this very innocent photo which NASA released during the mission as "evidence" that NASA was lying since the wing is visible in this photo.

Spacehab had put in a low priority request for the astronauts to take a photo of the Spacehab module and one of the crewmembers complied. Spacehab manager Pete Paceley even showed the photo during the mission status briefing on January 30! Not only is NASA not trying to hide this photo - it's available for anybody who wants it - for free. It's in NASA's Flight Day 7 photo collection.

STS107-E-05344 (22 January 2003) --- One of the astronauts onboard the Space Shuttle Columbia used a digital still camera to capture this photograph of Earth's horizon featuring South Yemen and the Gulf of Aden. Also visible are the Hadramawt Plateau and the Ramlat as Sab'atayn sands (long triangular feature). Approximate coordinates of the featured area are 16.0 degrees north latitude and 48.5 degrees east longitude.


STS107-E-05353 (22 January 2003) --- SPACEHAB Research Double Module as seen from Columbia's aft flight deck.


STS107-E-05359 (22 January 2003) --- SPACEHAB Research Double Module as seen from Columbia's aft flight deck.


STS107-E-05354 (22 January 2003) --- SPACEHAB Research Double Module backdropped against black space over Earth's horizon, as seen from Columbia's aft flight deck.


STS107-E-05485 (22 January 2003) --- One of the crew members aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia used a digital still camera to capture a sunrise from the crew cabin during Flight Day 7.


Samstag, 2. Februar 2013 - 18:17 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Die Mythen der NASA Raumfähre Columbia Katastrophe-Teil-3


Fortsetzung von Teil2:

He never doubted he would be an astronaut. ``I can't remember ever thinking that I couldn't do it,'' Colonel Anderson said in an interview with the University of Washington alumni newsletter in 1998. ``I never had any serious doubts about it. It was just a matter of when.''

But on the eve of his last flight, Colonel Anderson did talk about the risk of space flight.

``There's always that unknown,'' he said to reporters just before the Columbia lifted off on Jan. 16.

Colonel Anderson's parents, Bobbie and Barbara Anderson, live in Spokane. The family moved to the area about 30 years ago, friends said, because Bobbie Anderson was assigned to the Fairchild Air Force Base about 25 miles from Spokane. Michael Anderson went to school in Cheney, a farm town next to the base.

Today, inside Cheney High School is a plaque and picture of Colonel Anderson, the astronaut who never wavered in his dreams.

``Michael's always been an amazingly strong, focused guy,'' said the Rev. Freeman Simon, who has known the family for about 25 years, and attended the same church with them. ``He is strange in one respect: he was the guy who always seemed to know what he wanted, and could translate his thinking into action.''

After Cheney High School, Colonel Anderson got a bachelor of science degree in physics and astronomy at the University of Washington, in Seattle. He earned a master's degree in physics in 1990 at Creighton University.

In 1994, while stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, he was chosen for the space shuttle program, one of 19 candidates selected that year from among 2,962 applicants.

He was on the Shuttle-Mir docking mission in 1998, when the crew transferred more than 9,000 pounds of scientific equipment and other hardware from the Endeavour to the Mir.

He was married to the former Sandra Lynn Hawkins.

While Colonel Anderson was a role model in Spokane as one of the few black astronauts, he would have stood out even if he had never gone to space, friends said.

``If you know what the character of an eagle is like, that is Michael Anderson,'' said Mr. Freeman. ``He was an eagle among chickens.''

--[From the New York Times, Feb. 2, 2003]
Loss of the Shuttle: The Astronauts; the Columbia Space Shuttle's Crew of 6 Americans and 1 Israeli
(By Alan Feuer)
Seven astronauts, six Americans and an Israeli, died aboard the shuttle Columbia yesterday. Of the crew of five men and two women, four had never flown in space before.
Cmdr. William C. McCool: Carrying a Memento Of Home on Mission

When Cmdr. William C. McCool of the Navy, the pilot of the space shuttle Columbia, took off on Jan. 16, he carried a piece of his hometown with him: a spirit towel for the Coronado Mustangs, his high school football team in Lubbock, Tex. Commander McCool, 41, had always been a football fan. He told The Associated Press in an interview that he was rooting for the Oakland Raiders in last Sunday's Super Bowl, having grown up in San Diego.

He was an athlete--a runner, swimmer and a back-country camper--and played the guitar and chess. He was even known to play chess via e-mail with crew members of the international space station.

He was also something of a cutup, those who knew him said.

``Willie had one of the best senses of humor of any kid you'd ever seen,'' said Ed Jarman, who taught Commander McCool's high school chemistry class. ``He could rig up the most comical ways of explaining scientific principles.''

Mr. Jarman said Commander McCool was highly dependable. ``If I needed trash picked up on the school grounds, I'd make him a committee of one.''

He had always been interested in joining in the Navy, Mr. Jarman said; his father was a chief petty officer in the Navy.

Commander McCool graduated second in his 1983 class at the Naval Academy, where he ran with the cross-country track team.

The commander of his mission, Rick D. Husband, was also from Lubbock, and the town was in mourning yesterday.

The Columbia mission was Commander McCool's first trip into space. He was an experienced test pilot, one of the Navy's elite airmen, and had logged more than 2,800 flight hours.

Commander McCool was chosen by NASA for its astronaut program in 1996 and completed two years of training. He was scheduled for a shuttle mission in June 2001, but it was delayed.

Asked then by The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal if the scratched mission troubled him, he was optimistic.

``From a rookie point of view, the delays are probably good,'' he said. ``I feel like going through the training flow essentially a second time a little less like a rookie and a little bit more like a veteran.''

In the same interview he said one of the hardest parts of his mission would be working on a split-duty around-the-clock schedule: half of the shuttle crew members worked, while the other half slept.

``I think it's going to be very difficult,'' he said. ``That's why we're focusing now in advance on doing everything very efficiently on time. We hope we can do whatever measures are necessary to get us into bed.''

Commander McCool was married and had three sons.


Ms. SNOWE. Mr. President, America and the world watched with equal measures of shock and sadness on the morning of February 1, as the Shuttle Columbia was lost and seven heroes perished in the skies over Texas.

At this most somber of times, we pray for the souls of the seven astronauts, as well as the families of those who gave their lives to advance humankind. We also extend our most profound sympathies to all Israelis as they mourn their fallen countryman, the first Israeli astronaut. Their boundless joy has turned to the deepest sorrow, and we share in their terrible loss.

Today, we remember Rick D. Husband, commander; William C. McCool, pilot; Michael P. Anderson, payload commander; David M. Brown, mission specialist; Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; Laura Blair Salton Clark, mission specialist; and Ilan Ramon, payload specialist. Their names are no longer of the pedestrian Earth, they now belong to the ages, forever etched in the halls of history.

We can scarcely comprehend the dangers which they accepted daily as the price for making a difference in the world. For most of us, we could not imagine a life so punctuated by peril. For them, they could not imagine life in any other form, and it is we who are the beneficiaries of their courage.

For those who exist on the vanguard of human endeavor, we reserve our highest regard and greatest respect. For it is they who set new standards by challenging old limits. It is they who embrace the ultimate risk in exchange for mapping the realm of possibility. We can no more place ourselves in their minds and hearts than we can imagine what it is like to stand on a street corner in a city we have never seen. We occupy a different space in the world. But we know and can appreciate the fruits of their extraordinary labor, and that is probably all they would ever ask of us.

The Space Shuttle Columbia, on mission STS-107, was dedicated to research in the space, life, and physical sciences. The seven astronauts worked around the clock, for 16 days, to carry out studies in the areas of astronaut health and safety, advanced technology development, and Earth and space sciences. It is true they carried with them experiments designed to expand the store of human knowledge. But they also carried with them the pride of the United States and Israel, and the hopes of the people of our two great nations for a brighter and better tomorrow.

Our hearts are now heavy, but our pride and our hope are not diminished, far from it. Indeed, the spirit represented by Columbia cannot be vanquished by such crude and earthly instruments as physics or fire. Rather, the spirit embodied by her and her crew is of a higher, infinitely more durable plane, where the finest of human ideals and pursuits never die, but only grow stronger with the passing of the days.

In moving forward, we must now ascertain what went wrong, and take every conceivable step to ensure it is never repeated for the sake of those who, in the years ahead, will once more ride into the breach of space. As President Bush has said, ``The cause in which they died will continue. Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on.'' Perhaps that is best way for us to honor the memory of those seven astronauts who never returned from Columbia.

Robert F. Kennedy once said, ``There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why ..... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?'' That is the credo by which the seven astronauts of Columbia lived their lives, and their legacy will be remembered as long as greatness is revered.

Again, I join with my colleagues and all of America in expressing my deepest appreciation, and my most sincere condolences to the families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. May God grant them strength and comfort as He welcomes home the crew of Columbia.


Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I rise today with a heavy heart to mourn the loss of a fellow Wisconsinite, a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. This extraordinary woman, Laurel Clark of Racine, WI, was a physician, a Navy Commander, and an astronaut who was flying her first space mission aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. When that craft broke apart over the blue Texas sky on Saturday morning, we lost this incredible woman and her six crew mates. I extend my deepest sympathy to Dr. Clark's husband and son and to her family and friends.

Dr. Clark, the oldest of four children, was born in Iowa and grew up in Racine, WI. She graduated from William Horlick High School in 1979 and went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied zoology and was an active member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. She earned her undergraduate degree in 1983, and her medical degree, also from the University of Wisconsin, in 1987.

Dr. Clark joined the U.S. Navy after medical school and became a diving doctor, participating a number of submarine missions. She was selected to train as an astronaut in 1996, and she and her husband relocated to Houston, TX, home of the Johnson Space Center.

Dr. Clark's first shuttle mission was postponed several times, and after years of training and anticipation, she and her crewmates lifted off from Cape Canaveral on January 16 for a 16-day microgravity research mission. Aboard the Columbia, Dr. Clark was a mission specialist who conducted numerous medical experiments, often using herself as a test subject.

An e-mail message that Dr. Clark sent to her brother from space noted that she enjoyed looking down on her home planet and seeing familiar sights such as Wind Point on Lake Michigan.

Dr. Clark's professional journey took her from the depths of the Earth's oceans to the vast reaches of outer space. She truly reached for the stars and made incredible contributions to our country. Dr. Laurel Clark and her crewmates were tragically taken from us too soon, and we will always treasure her legacy of scientific exploration and discovery and her commitment to her family, friends, and country.


Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives on the space shuttle Columbia and offer my condolences to their families and to the entire NASA community. Like all Americans, they are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Early Saturday morning, the crew of the Columbia was preparing to reenter the Earth's atmosphere after a 16-day mission to conduct scientific experiments. Five of the seven astronauts were on their first space flight. By all accounts, the mission had been a success, and some of the astronauts jokingly complained to mission controllers about having to come home. The crew included Dr. Kalpana Chawla, a mechanical engineer and Indian immigrant, William McCool, a Navy test pilot, Dr. David Brown, a Navy physician, COL Ilan Ramon, an Israeli fighter pilot, Laurel Clark, a Navy flight surgeon, and two veterans of the space program, Mission Commander Rick Husband and Payload Commander Michael Anderson. Fourteen minutes into reentry, as the shuttle passed through the upper atmosphere and reached temperatures as hot as 2,000 degrees, it broke apart above northern Texas, taking these seven remarkable individuals down with it.

This was a world tragedy as much as it was an American tragedy. The crew of the Columbia reflected our diverse planet as much as it did a cross section of America. Dr. Chawla was a hero in her native India, as was COL Ramon in Israel. Both were on their first space flight. Millions of people around the world reacted in horror as they watched footage of the Columbia streaking across the Texas sky. They share in our deep sense of grief.

I am confident we will complete an exhaustive investigation to determine what went wrong. All questions need to be answered before we send our best and brightest back into space. However, I firmly believe that we must press on. We must continue the exploration of space. I have always supported the space program because I believe it is in the best interests of mankind to unlock the mysteries of life on earth and beyond. The shuttle missions have helped us understand global warming, weather patterns, and the effects of weightlessness on the human body, aided in the understanding of disease, and exponentially increased our understanding of the universe. It would be impossible to quantify the knowledge we have gained from sending men and women into space.

Space flight brings out the best in us. It challenges us to think big, to strive for greatness, and to work together to achieve the most important goals. There is no doubt in my mind that we should continue these missions and prepare the next generation of astronauts for the challenges that lay ahead. To be sure, there is great risk. However, if it weren't difficult, if it didn't promise to improve the quality of our lives and our understanding of the world, then it wouldn't be worth doing. Yesterday the families of the Columbia 7 issued a statement expressing that sentiment: ``Although we grieve deeply, as do the families of Apollo 1 and Challenger before us, the bold exploration of space must go on.''

This tragedy has touched each and every one of us. These selfless heroes were dedicated to a cause greater then themselves. They were passionate about space flight, passionate about their mission, and were committed to making life better for all of us. They will be missed, and they will never be forgotten.


Mr. CONRAD. Mr. President, I would like to include a few words for the RECORD about the horrible tragedy that our Nation suffered on Saturday morning. Our Nation grieves for the brave astronauts that lost their lives on the Space Shuttle Columbia. My thoughts, and the thoughts of all North Dakotans, are with the families and friends of the seven crew members who died in the skies over Texas and Louisiana.

Rick Husband, Michael Anderson, Laurel Clark, David Brown, William McCool, Kalpana Chawla, Ilan Ramon. These men and women came from around the country and around the world to risk their lives, and ultimately give their lives, for human space flight and all that it can offer. Mr. Ramon was a colonel in the Israeli Air Force. Dr. Chawla was an American born in India. The others came together from across the United States. Their mission was one of cooperation, research, and discovery. In these troubled times when we talk of war every day, their mission was, significantly, a mission of peace.

I have always said that, when done right, space exploration can be of tremendous benefit to those of us on the ground. The cutting edge research that NASA conducts in space, including the research performed by these seven brave individuals on Columbia, simply could not happen on the surface of the Earth. Now, we are reminded not only of how difficult and how important this research is, but also just how dangerous it is.

In my State, we understand this first hand. In North Dakota, we are proud to say that we have more astronauts per capita than any other State. James Buchli, Tony England, and Richard Hieb all hail from Noorth Dakota. One of them, Mr. Hieb, flew on Columbia back in 1994.

In North Dakota, we are grieving over the loss of the seven members of Columbia's last mission. But, I am confident that human space flight will continue even in the wake of this disaster. Across this country, and especially at NASA, there is a ``can-do'' attitude that will allow us to forge ahead. It is this spirit that will allow us to move forward with resilience after this horrible tragedy.


Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, like many of my colleagues, I wish to discuss the national tragedy that occurred on Saturday morning and to pay tribute to the seven brave men and women who lost their lives in the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

Just like people around the country, I was beginning my day on Saturday and tuning into the news programs when I learned that NASA had lost contact with the Shuttle Columbia. I was riveted to the developments as they unfolded on television and was devastated when our President addressed the Nation, announcing what we all suspected at that point, ``The Columbia is lost; There are no survivors.''

My heart and prayers go out to the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia and their families. While space travel has in some ways become routine to the American public, this tragedy is a vivid reminder of the inherent risks these brave men and women undertake to pursue the boundaries of space and science. On this day, and in the future, they deserve to be remembered for the lives they lived and I hope we will do that.

In the days that have followed the tragedy, we have all become familiar with the backgrounds of the Columbia astronauts. They were men and women of such accomplishment and capability that it begins to make the extraordinary seem ordinary, but such a characterization is not fair to them. Our astronaut corps continues to attract the best of the best, and to require an unparalleled standard of achievement and excellence. For many shuttle astronauts, the opportunity to participate in a shuttle mission is the dream of a lifetime and for all of them, it is the culmination of a lifetime of hard work.

I remember my excitement as a child, clipping articles about the Mercury missions and hanging them on the bulletin board in my bedroom. Today, Idaho's school children do the same with articles about the International Space Station and the missions of our space shuttle fleet. Many kids follow the progress of various NASA missions in their classrooms. NASA considers this educational outreach a critical, core mission and a major purpose for its existence as an agency. In fact, in a recent meeting I had with NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, he spent much of our time together discussing the ways that NASA is working to excite students about math and science. This is vital work. It must continue.

Although Congress and NASA are now getting on with the business of investigating what went wrong, nothing should deter us from the important missions of our national space program. I join with my colleagues today in saluting the Columbia astronauts and those at NASA who make it possible for us to explore our universe.


Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise today to commemorate the lives of the seven astronauts who gave their lives Saturday when the spacecraft Columbia was lost as it returned to Earth. The names of those manning the shuttle will be ingrained in our minds and in our hearts: CDR Rick Husband, CDR William McCool, LTC Michael Anderson, CDR Laurel Clark, CAPT David Brown, Dr. Kalpana Chawla, and COL Ilan Ramon, of the Israeli Air Force.

The crew of the Columbia shared a love of flying and a sense of adventure that spurred each to strive for excellence and reach for space.

CDR Rick Husband knew from the time he was 4 years old and watched his first shuttle launch that he wanted to be an astronaut.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Force and attended pilot training at Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma. He later served as a test pilot for all five models of the F-15. Commander Husband logged more than 3,800 hours of flight time in more than 40 types of aircraft.

Commander Husband studied mechanical engineering at Fresno State University in California through an extension program at nearby Edwards Air Force Base. On the flight, Commander Husband carried a Fresno State Bulldogs sweatshirt, as a memento. He graduated with a master's degree in 1990. Four years later, NASA selected Husband as an astronaut candidate.

He leaves behind his wife, and his two children.

Born in San Diego, CA, CDR William McCool was the son of a Navy and Marine aviator who built model airplanes as a youngster.

Commander McCool studied aerospace engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy, and was elected captain of the cross-country running team his senior year. He graduated second in his class from the Naval Academy.

Commander McCool received a master's degree in computer science from the University of Maryland in 1985 and a master's in aeronautical engineering at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1992.

He attended flight school in Pensacola, FL, and worked as a test pilot at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in southern Maryland.

Commander McCool leaves behind a wife and two children.

LTC Michael Anderson always dreamed of space flight and once said that he could not remember a time when he did not want to be an astronaut.

He graduated from the University of Washington in 1981 with a degree in physics and astronomy and, following in his father's footsteps, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Force.

While stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska in 1990, Anderson earned a master's degree in physics from Omaha's Creighton University.

In 1994, he was selected to join NASA as a potential future astronaut. In January 1998, he made his first flight, aboard the space shuttle Endeavour, traveling 3.6 million miles during 138 orbits of the Earth to reach the Mir space station.

LTC Michael Anderson leaves behind his wife and two daughters.

CDR Laurel Clark always excelled at school, and her classmates remember her for her fun-loving and adventurous spirit.

After Commander Clark graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she joined the Navy to pay her way through medical school, but stayed with the Navy for the series of adventures it offered her in her career.

While in the Navy, Commander Clark became a submarine medical officer, dove with Navy SEALS in Scotland, and earned her flight surgeon's wings before finally applying to NASA for astronaut training.

While orbiting the Earth, Commander Clark remarked on the beauty of watching sunsets from space.

She leaves behind her husband and her son.

CAPT David Brown loved to fly kites as a child, and would gaze at the stars with friends from a backyard telescope.

Captain Brown grew up in Arlington, VA, and earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the College of William and Mary, where he worked two jobs so he could take flying lessons.

He then earned a medical degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, before joining the Navy.

Captain Brown served as a flight surgeon in the Navy and joined NASA in 1996.

His family and friends remember him as a person who ``grabbed life,'' saying that he could and did accomplish anything he set out to do.

Dr. Kalpana Chawla fell in love with the idea of flying as a young girl in India.

She graduated from the Tagore Bal Niketan School in her small hometown of Karnal and then got a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College.

She left India for the United States, earning a master's degree from the University of Texas and a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado.

Dr. Chawla then worked as a scientist at the NASA Ames research laboratory in California before joining the astronaut program in 1995.

Dr. Chawla was a member of the West Valley Flying Club in Palo Alto who loved doing aerial acrobatics over the Bay Area.

She leaves behind her husband.

COL Ilan Ramon was a bona fide combat hero in Israel, flying missions in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the Lebanon war in 1982.

In recent days, he lifted the spirits of his country, becoming a national hero as the first Israeli in space.

As a pilot, Colonel Ramon clocked more than 4,000 hours in combat aircraft, and was an F-16 squadron commander.

Aboard the Columbia, one of Ramon's scientific experiments involved tracking sandstorms in the Sahara Desert, and studying their impact on climate and environment.

He leaves behind his wife and four children.

Each of the astronauts knew the risks involved in space flight. But they took those risks willingly in order to follow their dreams, knowing that their mission was a noble one of science and discovery.

What remains for us, as a nation, is to determine the cause of this tragedy, make adjustments so that it will not happen again, and continue the exploration of space.

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe has already assigned several internal units to investigate the loss of the Columbia, including a ``Mishap Response Team'' and a ``Contingency Action Team.''

In addition, Administrator O'Keefe announced the formation of an independent board led by Harold W. Gehman, who cochaired the probe of the October 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.

I think that the way NASA has acted in the past few days is a marked improvement to the way the investigation into the 1986 Challenger explosion was handled.

Information has been disseminated quickly, which gives me hope that a fair and prompt investigation will yield the causes for the loss of the Columbia.

The space program must continue. The American legacy is filled with stories of exploration, and the desire to push new frontiers to the limit.

There is so much to learn from space. This tragedy will not stifle the desire to acquire all the potential knowledge we could gain as a country, and as a planet, from exploration beyond Earth.

The risks, however, will always be present. In a way, space exploration means continually breaking new ground, and taking those risks.

The hardest part of these losses, is the human loss. The astronauts aboard the Columbia were men and women at their prime. They put their hearts and souls into this mission, were the best and brightest of their peers, and still this catastrophe befell them.

My heart goes out to the families that the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia left behind. As we search for the reasons this tragedy occurred, it cannot be forgotten that each member was a son or daughter, a mother or father, a brother or sister, a dear friend. The thoughts and prayers of the American people, and of the world, are with them as they endure the pain of this loss.

The crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia embodied the human desire to explore, to reach, and to dream. Their courage, idealism, and enthusiasm for discovery are hallmarks of the American spirit which should be remembered and celebrated, even as we grieve their loss.

(At the request of Mr. DASCHLE, the following statement was ordered to be printed in the RECORD.)


[Begin Insert]

Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, twice now we have witnessed the horror of vapor trails separating in the sky.

Twice now we have gazed in shock at photographs of the optimistic faces of seven young heroes, captured as they stood at the brink of one of mankind's greatest adventures.

Twice now we have endured the loss of a space shuttle and its valiant crew: First, Challenger on January 28, 1986, at the start of a landmark voyage dedicated to teaching a new generation about space. Now, 17 years and 4 days later, Columbia on February 1, 2003, at the conclusion of a successful scientific mission.

Both incidents remind us that space exploration is fraught with risk, but also with limitless possibility. Even as we mourn the loss of Columbia's crew of seven brave heroes, including the first astronaut from Israel, we must rededicate ourselves to continuing to pursue knowledge of the heavens and the benefits we derive from our research.

We in Florida feel the losses most intensely. My State is home to the Kennedy Space Center and thousands of the dedicated professionals who work for NASA as well as its contractors. Floridians consider ourselves part of the special family that makes up the space program. We launched the Columbia on its 16-day mission, and we were ready to welcome her crew home.

Now, Floridians are firm in our belief that, just as we did in the 1980s, we must fully explore the causes of Saturday's disaster. We must identify what went wrong and fix it. We must ensure the safety of the remaining three orbiters and future astronauts.

But then we recommit ourselves to returning to space, to resuming launches, to continuing to build the International Space Station, and to forging ahead with missions to Mars and other planets.

We are already hearing cautious voices calling for spacecraft to be piloted by robots, or even insisting that no new money be spent on space. I say that is wrong. On May 25, 1961, when President John F. Kennedy declared it a national goal to land a man on the Moon, he did so with these words: ``If we are to go only half way, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not to go at all.''

In the spirit of John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, and our other space pioneers, astronauts must once again be sent soaring through the Earth's atmosphere to explore and discover.


Myth - NASA won’t permit shuttles to reenter over the United States anymore

With all of the debris falling in East Texas many wondered whether NASA would ever allow shuttles to fly over populated areas again and whether or not that would put an end to shuttle landings in Florida. There are three primary landing sites – the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Edwards AFB in California, and White Sands in New Mexico. White Sands is normally considered a backup backup site and has only been used once, the STS-3 mission in 1982. But what many people don’t realize is many of the reentry paths to Edwards go over heavily populated areas in the Los Angeles basin. CAIB chair Hal Gehman said, “When NASA calculates its entry path they do not take into account what’s under it. We felt in the future, all things being equal – they still have to keep the shuttle safe - we do need to think about what’s under it.” Almost every shuttle mission since 1999 goes to the International Space Station. When reentering the shuttle can take a northwest to southeast path over the continental United States or a southwest to northeast path which passes over Mexico or Central America, Cuba, and Florida before landing in Florida. NASA almost always selects the later, not because of risks to the public, but because of a variety of reasons including high altitude ice particles in high latitude clouds and the crew’s sleep cycle. The astronauts have to be awake for launch, landing, docking, and undocking. That drives the rest of the mission’s events and the best landing times occur on the landing passes from the southwest. Some of those reentry paths do go over heavily populated areas, including Mexico City, Orlando, and Sarasota. When it won’t interfere with the mission’s objectives the flight dynamics engineers plan shuttle reentries to avoid populated areas, but only when it doesn’t affect anything else.


Samstag, 2. Februar 2013 - 17:52 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Die Mythen der NASA Raumfähre Columbia Katastrophe-Teil-2


Fortsetzung von Teil1:


Utah's contribution to the success of our Nation's space program goes on and on, but let it suffice to say, that the entire State of Utah mourns for the loss of these brave astronauts. We pray for their families and those they have left behind.

Now is not the time to take a huge step backward in our space program and send the message to the next generation of Americans that when things get hard or when plans go wrong, we should give up . . . give up and let our dreams and aspirations fall victim to a task that appears hopelessly difficult.

No, now is not that time.

Now is the time when we need to stare adversity in the face. Learn from past mistakes. Refocus our vision on what we can accomplish by working together toward a unified goal. Now is the time to raise a new generation of heroes and teach them how to overcome difficult circumstances.

Yes, America will continue its space program. We will be more than mere spectators of the universe. We will be active participants and we will train a new generation of explorers who will build on the foundation laid by these great astronauts abroad the Space Shuttle Columbia. Who knows what this new generation may discover? With the rapid pace of technological advances and the courage to conquer the unknown, it is sure to be something great.

Elaine and I send our very strongest condolences to the families of the astronauts who have lost their lives in the service of their country. We will pray for those families and pray that somehow they will be comforted in this hour of need.

I personally know what it is like to lose a member of the family while serving our country. My older brother was killed in the Second World War at the Ploesti oil raid that helped to knock out Hitler's oil supply. It was a very difficult thing for our family, and it still is. In the last month, I have been reading the letters he wrote to my mother and I have gotten to know him better than I ever thought I would--as a person who gave his life for us and did it willingly so that we might be free.

These astronauts have given their lives for us and they have given them willingly, helping us to be free, to have a better society, to explore in this day and age, much like Lewis and Clark did in their day and age, the outreaches of the universe and help us to gain scientifically every step of the way. I am grateful to them and their families and I pray for them.

I yield the floor.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii is recognized.


Mr. AKAKA. Madam President, I rise today to join my colleagues on this sad and solemn afternoon to honor the lives of our brave astronaut heroes: the seven crew members of the Space Shuttle Columbia who were lost Saturday morning on their return from a 16-day scientific mission in outer space.

As we honor the memory of the Columbia crew, Shuttle Commander Rick Husband, Pilot William McCool, Payload Commander Michael Anderson, Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist David Brown, Mission Specialist Laurel Clark, and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon, I send my heartfelt sympathy to their families and loved ones.

This is a national and international tragedy that has brought people and nations around the globe together in grief and remembrance. The men and women onboard the Columbia epitomized the best and brightest our country has to offer, and the participation of other nations in the shuttle program illustrates the collaboration and interconnection between America and other nations in the peaceful exploration of space and progress of scientific inquiry. The Columbia crew, like most of the men and women in our space program, came to NASA as successful and respected leaders from their respective professions. As scientists, doctors, surgeons, aviators, and military officers, they sought to share their expertise in the service of our Nation and mankind. In the decades since Sputnik and John Glenn's orbital mission of the earth in the Friendship 7, people around the world have been fascinated with possibilities of space exploration. The shuttle program opened the reality of space exploration to astronauts from many nations and caught the interest of young people around the world.

Colonel Ramon, Israel's first astronaut and one of his nation's premier air force pilots, captured the imagination of the Israeli people. His participation in the shuttle program stirred a great sense of pride and hope in a nation that has endured so much conflict and violence over the past two years. Dr. Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-born woman to go into space, is a national heroine in India and a great inspiration to young people in both that land of her birth and her adopted home, especially young women and girls who saw Dr. Chawla as a role model for the possibilities and opportunities available to them.

As we mourn the loss of these brave individuals, men and women who willingly assumed the risk of space travel in their dedication to science and the expansion of human knowledge to new frontiers, we are reminded of the human spirit for exploration and discovery. Indeed, the quintessential trait of the American national character is the sense of adventure and curiosity that led pioneers and homesteaders westward, impelled men and women in Europe and Asia to emigrate to a new, vast, and unknown Nation with only the promise of opportunity and prosperity, and embraced President Kennedy's challenge to put a man on the moon.

America has been peopled by men and women driven by this spirit, and it is a quality we greatly admire and respect in our leaders and fellow citizens. The crew of the Columbia fully understood that there are many dangers associated with space flight, but looked beyond them while seeking to bring forth wisdom and reason from the vast unknown through space exploration and research. The crew understood that the experiments they were conducting on a wide array of medical and scientific subjects held the promise of major scientific advancements and benefit to mankind.

In the coming weeks and months, we must investigate what caused this tragedy and ensure that manned space flight is safe for our men and women who dedicate their lives to space exploration. As we scour the earth for answers to this tragedy, we must not lose sight of the heavens, or allow our fascination with exploring, discovering, or dreaming to wane. For by reaffirming our resolve to explore the wonders and mysteries of the universe, we honor the memory of the Columbia's crew, and the memory of all those astronauts who lost their lives in our Nation's endeavor to understand outer space.

I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.


Mr. AKAKA. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


Mr. AKAKA. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time under the quorum calls be equally divided; in addition, I ask unanimous consent that the previous quorum calls be equally divided.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


Mr. AKAKA. I thank the Chair. I suggest the absence of a quorum.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.


Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, I join my colleagues in expressing our gratefulness to the seven heroes who were lost on the Space Shuttle Columbia Saturday as they completed a mission of science to benefit the world.

I also share my thoughts and prayers with the families they've left behind.

Over the past few days, we have seen an outpouring of support from people all over the world for these seven remarkable individuals, and the work they carried out so selflessly.

From formal memorial services--like the one held in Houston today--to more spontaneous tributes throughout America, Israel, India and other nations, people around the world have shared their words of loss and appreciation.

Frankly, there is little I can add to the chorus of eloquent voices we have heard over the past few days.

But what I can do--and what I am honored to do on behalf of the people I represent--is to share with the Senate how two members of this amazing crew touched the lives of many in my home State of Washington.

Columbia pilot William McCool was a Commander in the United States Navy. He served two tours at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington State.

Commander McCool was an EA-6B pilot serving in both the Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 133 and the Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 132.

His colleague, Columbia Payload Commander Michael Anderson, was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force. Colonel Anderson had long ties to the Spokane area in Washington State.

Both of these astronauts touched lives in Washington State. Both were accomplished pilots. Both were pillars in their communities. Both were strong family members.

On Saturday afternoon, I called the Commander of the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Over the years, I have had an opportunity to work with the fine crews at NAS Whidbey Island. I have shared both good times and bad times with them. When I called on Saturday just a few hours after the disaster, I knew the air crews and the families would be struggling with Commander McCool's death.

I spoke with Captain Steven Black. I had expected to hear stories of Willie McCool's service at NAS Whidbey earlier in his distinguished career. I heard that--and so much more--as Captain Black told me about this man who was so revered by his fellow Naval airmen at Whidbey.

Willie was a role model to young flyers at Whidbey. They all followed his career and his many accomplishments in the Air Force and as an astronaut with NASA.

Captain Black told me about his recent E-mails with Commander McCool.

Just 2 days before, Commander McCool took the time to E-mail his friends and colleagues at Whidbey. Whidbey Island had an effect on Willie McCool. And Willie McCool had an impact on NAS Whidbey Island that lives on in the mission and the talents of the Naval personnel serving there.

As Captain Black told a reporter,

Willie flew the skies of Washington state. He was a talented pilot. He was very enthusiastic about his work. He had a contagious sense of awe and wonder at the science behind the flying he loved.

And Commander McCool touched lives in communities beyond NAS Whidbey.

One of those communities is Anacortes, WA, where he and his family lived and continue to own a home. Anacortes is north of Oak Harbor and NAS Whidbey. It is a small town that took immense pride in having Commander McCool as a neighbor, a parent, and a fellow outdoorsman. Commander McCool's appreciation for Anacortes and the local community was with him on the Columbia mission.

He took with him a Douglas Fir Cone from the Little Cranberry Lake area. That cone represented the seeds of a future generation.

Commander McCool's commitment and service to future generations is now represented on the sign outside of Fidalgo Elementary School. That sign says, ``Fidalgo salutes a legacy of a good friend, Commander William McCool.''

Let me now turn to another Columbia hero with ties to Washington State, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Anderson.

On Sunday morning, parishioners of the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Spokane gathered to worship and pay tribute to him. Michael Anderson and his family are long time members of the congregation.

Speaking of Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, Reverend Freeman Simmons offered words of comfort to friends of the Anderson family.

Reverend Freedom said,
He belonged to more than his family, more than his race, more than his different affiliations. He belonged to this age.

Michael Anderson was born in New York State. He and his family came to Spokane, WA, during his father's Air Force service at Fairchild Air Force Base. He graduated from Cheney High School and came across the Cascades to attend the University of Washington. At UW, Anderson earned degrees in both physics and astronomy. He went on to a career in the Air Force as pilot and was selected to join NASA and the space program in 1994.

Lieutenant Colonel Anderson was one of the veterans aboard Columbia. He previously spent 211 hours in space on the 89th shuttle mission in 1998 to the Russian space station MIR. On that mission, Anderson traveled 3.6 million miles in 138 orbits around the Earth aboard the shuttle Endeavor.

Aboard the Columbia, Payload Commander Anderson was responsible for the incredible science being conducted during the mission. His mission was to manage 79 experiments on behalf of several space agencies and school children in many countries.

Michael Anderson considered Spokane his hometown, and Spokane is proud of his service. Today, all across Spokane, the community has posted its respect and admiration for our lost astronauts. One sign on Division Street reads, ``NASA we mourn with you.'' Another reads, ``Remember our Astronauts.''

Lieutenant Colonel Anderson's many contributions to space and science will live as a lasting tribute to an accomplished and heroic American. Let me mention just one.

Following Michael's successful 1998 shuttle mission, he returned to Washington State and the Spokane area. In May 1998, he want back to his alma mater, Cheney High School. He shared his experiences with students and he returned a school pennant which he had taken with him into space on that first mission.

One of the teachers described his appearance at a school assembly saying:

His message to the kids was so upbeat and so positive. ``It doesn't matter what your dream is. If you are willing to chart the course, if you are willing to do what it takes, you can achieve your dreams.'' When that assembly was over, no one wanted to leave. They all wanted to stay and talk to Mike.

Both of these men left families. These men were spouses, fathers, community leaders, role models in service to our country. They will be missed by their families and a grateful nation. We will stand with the families as they grieve. We will be with them as the Nation seeks answers to the Columbia tragedy, and we will join them in honoring their loved ones as space exploration and discovery go forward. Willie McCool, Michael Anderson, and all of our Columbia astronauts gave so much of their lives in service and exploration. Our task now is to ensure their spirit continues to deliver the wonders of space that they explored on our behalf.

I continue with the words from Willie McCool in an e-mail message to his colleagues at NAS Whidbey. Commander McCool spoke of seeing the Sun rise and set on the Earth from space and wrote:

The colors are stunning.
In a single view, I see--looking out at the edge of the earth:
red at the horizon line,
blending to orange and yellow,
followed by a thin white line,
then light blue,
gradually turning to dark blue
and various gradually darker shades of grey
then black and a million stars above.
It's breathtaking.

Madam President, I yield the floor.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.


Mr. ALLEN. I ask unanimous consent that the distinguished senior Senator from Virginia and I be recognized for a time not to exceed 20 minutes to engage in a colloquy, and that it be charged against the time of the majority.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


Mr. ALLEN. Madam President, I join with my colleague, Senator Warner, on this sad day, not just for America but for the world. It is a day on which we commemorate and honor the lives of the seven courageous astronauts. We are joined together in honoring the lives of these courageous individuals who dedicated their lives and decided to use their talents to reach high; to reach for high ideals, and who assumed the risks of these dangers in a very noble effort to improve our quality of life here on Earth.

This is a day of admiration. It is a day of inspiration for us and for the NASA people who care so much about this tragedy, the loss of these heroes. We all watched in horror as they were trying to come back into our atmosphere. The tragic disaster was more than just a loss for us in the United States, but it was a loss for the entire world community--whose diversity, ingenuity, and skill are reflected in the members of this historic crew.

Our hearts ache for the grieving but amazingly brave families of these heroes who perished in this catastrophic failure. As we go through the list of those on the shuttle we see Rick Husband, Commander; Pilot William McCool; Michael Anderson; CDR Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist Laurel Clark; Mission Specialist Ilan Ramon of Israel; and David M. Brown, Mission Specialist 1 and Navy captain from Arlington, VA, a Virginia resident, born and raised in Virginia, he went to college at the College of William and Mary after attending Yorktown High School, and was graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all these families. But for my colleagues to get to know the character of these families, where they came from, it is important that I share with you my conversation with David's brother Doug. David's brother was the only family member who was waiting for him when he was to land in Florida.

It is a family of achievers. His father--it would have been very difficult for him to get down there because his father is in a wheelchair. His father contracted polio at the age of 5. It never deterred him. He became a judge. He campaigned, somehow, door to door, and then was appointed as a circuit court judge, where he served honorably and expertly for 20 years, watching a great deal of growth and transformation in Northern Virginia.

David's brother Doug, with whom I spoke today, is a hero and character in his own sense. He went to West Virginia University. I said: Why did you leave Virginia to go to West Virginia? And he said they have a great target shooting program there. He himself was a two-time All-American. It is a family of achievers.

Doug talked about family, not just his family but the NASA family; about this crew and how this flight was delayed time after time; one time because they were sending up another mission to fix the Hubble. Another time there was a delay because of repair of the fuel lines. So the family became closer. By the time they were actually able to launch and go off on their mission, they had become very close.

We talked about various things. I asked him a question about what could we do to help? Is there anything we can do to comfort you or to comfort your family? What he said is that NASA and the Navy Casualty Assistance Crews were great. Everything possible was being done for them. He talked about how NASA had such noble goals, trying to expand the knowledge of mankind, and said they are the best of mankind.

Doug said his brother David understood that everyone was taking risks. We talked about how Navy pilots and test pilots over the years have lost their lives, some trying to land on a pitching aircraft carrier. He said those folks are heroes as well, and they don't get the attention these individuals received.

I asked Doug how his recent conversations with David. Doug said that he recently asked David: Well, what if you don't get back? What should I say?

He said his brother told him the program must go on. Not in a careless way, but it needs to move forward. He believed if there was any error and he couldn't get back, it most likely would be a human error, but that he would not hold that against whomever it was involved in that error because he knew everyone was trying to do the best job they could.

He talked about NASA, about how they cared about, for example, specifically, one of the culprits or suspected culprits in this tragedy, which was that piece of foam that hit the left wing.

His brother--and he communicated with him by e-mail when he was up in space--had actually taken photographs of that wing because they were concerned about it.

I said: Did those photographs get back?

He said: No, they didn't send those photographs back. But that will be part of the investigation, at least his oral description of the situation.

I said: As we are trying to figure this out and trying to learn from it, what would he say?

He said: Gosh, you have to understand, George--he said George, not Senator Allen. We are on a friendly basis. He said: You have to understand my brother David was a football player. He was an offensive lineman at Yorktown High School. He said: In these sort of things, they use a football analogy. You don't get stopped dead in your tracks. When you get tackled, you get up and you keep trying to score.

And Doug, his brother, said they used to make fun of David, that no one ever paid any attention to an offensive lineman. They were trying to rub it in. No one knew of his football prowess.

David retorted that no one else had Katie Couric cheering for him like she did at Yorktown High School.

Today, David, everyone is cheering for you. We are aching for your wonderful family and your friends. We know the noble mission that you have been on, and others will be on in the future, will continue as you desired.

We will reconstruct the facts. We are determined to get up. We are determined to learn. We will not quit. We will keep fighting. In fact, we will keep improving, we will keep innovating, and we will keep advancing.

David Brown was a hero, and these surviving families are heroic individuals as well. As we go forward, we will learn. But we also will pray to God that we continue to be blessed, in this country and the world, with people of such courage and especially people of such great character.

I would like to yield to the distinguished senior Senator from Virginia, Mr. Warner.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia is recognized.


Mr. WARNER. Madam President, may I say to my good friend, the junior Senator, that he delivered his remarks with great empathy and feeling. I wish to congratulate him. I have come to know him as a man who has intense feelings for people; and as a former Governor the many times he had to respond to catastrophes and loss of life in our State, he certainly has learned how to speak for the families and the survivors, and to speak with admiration about those who made the sacrifice. I thank the Senator for the privilege of serving with him.


Mr. ALLEN. I thank the Senator.


Mr. WARNER. Madam President, it is interesting; as the two of us approached the floor, a reporter paused in a very courteous way to ask me some questions. He is doing a study on the demographics of the Senate, and in particular on the number of Senators who have had an opportunity to serve in uniform. I expressed an opinion that I have expressed many times to a similar request. I find that, while it has its advantages, there is certainly no disadvantage to those who have not had the opportunity to serve in uniform. I think we all learn very quickly how to address the responsibilities we have with respect to the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States.

But in the few steps that I took walking to the Chamber, I say to my colleague, I did reflect momentarily on two brief periods that I was privileged to serve in uniform at the very end of World War II when I did not see combat as did the spouse of the distinguished Presiding Officer of the Senate, our former colleague, Senator Dole, in no way have I ever put myself in the category of Senators Dole, INOUYE, STEVENS, HOLLINGS, and many others since then who served in Vietnam with such great distinction on the battlefield. But I did come to know many of my colleagues. Then I served briefly in the Korean war as a ground communications officer in the first wing. But I got to know aviators very well in that capacity. I recall that one of our tentmates did not return, and also our commanding officer lost his life. I was part of the detail that went out to retrieve him from a mountainside.

I empathize, as do the other men and women of the Armed Forces, for the loss of those astronauts who achieved their status through training in the U.S. military. What a privilege it is for all of us who had the opportunity to serve, to serve with others, and to share in their everyday happenings and glory--and sometimes in the status of their death--that we do here, brothers and sisters in the Senate today.

A number of our colleagues had the opportunity to go down to the services. I had to remain here. But I join with my colleagues in our reverent and humble way of expressing our deepest sympathies to the families, to the survivors, to the fellow enlisted military officers who served with these individuals throughout their careers, and to the Nation. The whole Nation is grieving for their deaths.


It is a marvelous thing to see Americans come together from all walks of life and to join in prayers and in other ways--so often in quiet ways--to express our feelings over this tragic loss to our Nation, and indeed to the world, because the world is largely dependent on those nations that have trained those going into space with particular missions. We lost the very brave and extraordinary military officer from our strong ally, Israel.

While our Nation grieves for the deaths of the seven pioneers in space, for their friends and families, and for the States those brave souls called home, we join in mourning with all States in the Union. And yet we celebrate in a way their entire lives. We in Virginia are united in our solemn remembrance of one of those astronauts, CPT David Brown, whose parents, Dorothy and Paul, live in Washington, VA. My distinguished colleague spoke of his wonderful conversation with his brother today.

In the United States of America, we are a nation of pioneers--blazing trails from the 16th and 17th centuries to build ourselves a new nation, venturing west in the 18th and 19th centuries to fulfill our manifest destiny; and today in the 20th and 21st centuries leaving the outer bounds of our own atmosphere to learn more about this planet and others, and to share that knowledge with the world.

Shuttle launches and landings have become routine over the last several decades, yielding a false sense of security. We now recognize how false it is--for we are shaken to our very core.

Brilliant were the remarks delivered today by our President--and those who gathered with him at the memorial service. President Bush is well known to my colleague as a fellow Governor. They served together. How often the Senator from Virginia told me about the moments they shared when both of them were Governors. But he--not unlike my dear friend, the Senator from Virginia--has a remarkable way to step into a period of mourning and bring strength to the families who remain, and to the Nation. I certainly commend our President.

Over 100 times our brave astronauts have challenged the laws of gravity--I love that phrase; I wrote it myself--the laws of gravity propelling themselves, their shuttles, and their payloads hundreds of miles from the Earth's surface. Their work has yielded a great deal of scientific advancement--especially medical advances--credited with enhancing the quality of life not only of ourselves but, indeed, the world.

Space research, technology, and exploration are major contributors to enhancing our national security, to improving our standard of living, and broadening our scientific knowledge--and to carry on the pioneering traditions of our Nation. NASA has been the driving force for these many accomplishments.

May I say the current Administrator of NASA is a member of our Senate family. In many ways, he worked with this institution. He went on to become Secretary of the Navy, an office that I was once privileged to hold. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. I think thus far he has shown strong leadership in addressing this tragedy, proceeding immediately to try to unearth the facts and to procure the knowledge from all sources, wherever they may be, to try to find the answers for this tragedy.

We are a nation of risk-takers. But with exploration comes inherent risks. We have continually tempted fate through superior science and with the most talented men and women in their fields--astronauts who are the best and the brightest--those who fulfill their dreams and, I think more importantly, who have instilled in generations of young people their commitments and their dreams to perhaps become astronauts or dreams to perhaps one day wear the uniforms of the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and the Air Force.

Last night I was privileged to attend a public meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the four members of the chiefs of the services and/or their designated persons, who spoke brilliantly. In the cross questions, they addressed their pride in those men in uniform who achieved the status of astronaut--most particularly, at least two of them knew personally two of those who were lost on this mission.

I was so proud of the way they spoke and talked with resolve as to how we press on in space, and how generations upon generations will be coming behind to take their places, not unlike the men and women of the Armed Forces who throughout the world today are standing watch over our freedom, most particularly in the stressful situations of the Korean Peninsula and, indeed, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. How proud we are of the men and women of the Armed Forces.

The Columbia crew trained for their mission for years and in an instant our Nation has lost seven brave brothers and sisters;

Commander Rick Douglas Husband, U.S. Air Force Colonel, father of one daughter and one son; hometown, Amarillo, TX;

Pilot William C. McCool, U.S. Navy Commander, father of three sons; hometown, San Diego, CA:

Kalpana Chawla, Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, hometown Karnau, India;

Michael P. Anderson, lieutenant colonel, U.S. Air Force, father of two daughters; hometown, Spokane, WA;

Laurel Blair Salton Clark, commander, U.S. Navy, mother of one son; hometown, Racine, WI;

Ilan Ramon, colonel, Isreli Air Force;

And David M. Brown, captain, U.S. Navy; hometown, Washington, VA.

I am proud to stand here today on behalf of all Virginians to honor his memory and celebrate his life.

How proud Virginia, his parents, his friends, and his family are of this distinguished man: CPT David Brown. In his last words from space, CPT Brown wrote an e-mail to his parents in Virginia. My colleague referred to an e-mail he wrote to his brother. This is an e-mail he wrote to his parents:

If I'd been born in space, I would desire to visit the beautiful Earth more than I ever yearned to visit space. It's a wonderful planet.

Quiet, confident, heroic, adventuresome, dedicated to the welfare of others, and always seeing the best in our world: CPT Brown.

My colleague enumerated the details of his family and his education, but I do wish to recount one story. His parents were not surprised by his choice. Paul and Dorothy Brown watched their son grow up in the Westover section of Arlington with a clear sense of adventure. He flew with a friend in a small plane at age 7. And while at William and Mary, he worked two jobs just to gain the dollars for his flying lessons.

In a speech to students last September, CPT Brown predicted that at some point a shuttle flight would end with the loss of crew and aircraft. But he encouraged the young people to have ``a big vision, accept the risks and be persistent in pursuit of [your] goals.''

Last Christmas, CPT Brown had a conversation with his brother Doug, who asked what would happen if something went wrong in space. He simply said: ``Well, this program will go on.'' And the remainder of that conversation my dear colleague put in the RECORD.

We are a nation of patriots. Not only must we remember these brave men and women of the Columbia, but all men, all women in uniform, who protect this great Nation. And I suppose since 9/11 each of you in this Chamber, like I, stop quietly when you see the uniform of a fireman, a policeman, or a medical worker, or those who form the vast infrastructure in this country and take risks day and night so we can enjoy the highest quality of life of any nation in this world.

I say to our Armed Forces on deployment around the world, who have been dispatched for the cause of protecting freedom, and to our police and firefighters, you are in our thoughts and in our prayers every day. Ours is a grateful Nation for the risks you and your families--and I underline families--take.

Today we must mourn our loss: the crew of the Columbia. Tomorrow we will continue their work. I emphasize that. Our President said that. Tomorrow we will continue their work, their search for knowledge, and their exploration of new frontiers.

We will remember them with reverence, just as we remember the settlers at Jamestown in 1607, and the expedition of Lewis and Clark in 1803. We will remember them, just as we remember our lost soldiers, sailors, and airmen, who have given their lives--generations of lives--to protect our freedoms. And we will remember them, just as we will remember the others who have fallen in space, who dared to dance among the stars. We remember them.

I yield the floor.


Mr. ALLEN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.


The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. ALEXANDER). The clerk will call the roll.

The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.


Mr. ALLEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


Mr. ALLEN. Mr. President, before the minority assistant leader arrives and I do final closing business, I want to commend the senior Senator from Virginia, my mentor, my ally, my good friend, for his outstanding statements, and for his experiences throughout his life--in many wars, in many tragedies--and through it all with his experience, as he always has the right things to say. He crafts those words himself. And he is proud of them.

He is an artist. He is an artist not only on canvas but also an artist with the gift of language, of sentiments, and of love and care for his fellow human beings. And he has been a hero himself, in many wars--in time of war and in time of peace--a leader in the civilian sector, and one who I, every single day, in every single moment that I am with him, learn something good and beneficial to improve myself.

So I thank my colleague, my dear friend, Senator Warner, for those wonderful remarks that I think mean a great deal to the family of Captain Brown and to all the families, but also to the spirit of innovation, of that gung-ho spirit as far as the military is concerned, but also understanding the historic nature from the very beginnings of the cradle of liberty in Jamestown, on through the Lewis and Clark expeditions, and others throughout mankind.

He is really a wonderful Virginia gentleman. Some call him ``The Squire.'' I call him a living hero. I thank the Senator for his comments.


Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I thank my colleague. I am deeply moved. A hero I am not, my dear fellow. I served twice in active duty for brief periods, and I benefited greatly in that service.

I try today, as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, to return to the men and women of the Armed Forces more than what I received by way of training and other benefits from serving in the military. My tours of active duty are inconsequential compared to the glorious careers of the persons who we honor today and, indeed, all others really that I have served with and see on the far-flung battlefields of the world as I travel through their posts, and will do soon again, to do what I can to benefit their lives, their welfare, their safety, and that of their families.


Mr. WARNER. But I think, my dear friend, we should note that we have present in the Chamber today the visiting Chaplain who comes from the State of Virginia. I think it is a matter of consequence that he is here today in the time that you and I speak. And he, too, expresses, as he did in the opening prayer, what is in his heart today, as he is in this Chamber, participating and listening to our speeches. So we are fortunate. We thank the guest Chaplain.


Mr. ALLEN. Mr. President, I share my colleague's comments in relation to the guest Chaplain, Dr. William Carl. It is a pleasure for us all he is here.


Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I often speak about the many inspirational or impressive feats accomplished by South Dakotans. I am particularly pleased by the thousands of men and women from South Dakota who serve our Nation in one of the Armed Forces. But today, I want to call attention to someone who has risen above and beyond most others. I'm speaking of CDR Charles J. ``Jerry'' Logan of the U.S. Navy.

Commander Logan was born in De Smet, SD. He also lived in Leola and Belle Fourche, SD. The commander is a graduate of Belle Fourche High School and the South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City. He is the only son of Charles and Margaret Logan's eight children. Most of the Logan family continues to reside in South Dakota. The commander is married to Teresa Logan, the daughter of Norman, who also served in the Navy, and Gay Jacobs.

Last November Commander Logan was bestowed the special honor of taking command of the USS Bremerton. This is his first command post. The Bremerton is one of several nuclear attack submarines assigned to the Pacific Fleet. Command of a nuclear submarine is obviously and enormous responsibility. Only a select few are ever charged with such a task.

Commander Logan took command of the Bremerton at a Change of Command ceremony in San Diego. Over 100 friends and relatives attended, and I am pleased to say many came from South Dakota--including Commander Logan's parents, all seven of his sisters, and many other relatives. I understand the presiding officer at the ceremony, Captain McAneny, was quite moved by the large contingent from South Dakota who traveled to show their support for Commander Logan.

I can certainly understand why the entire Logan and Jacobs families are proud of Commander Logan. I, too am proud of Jerry Logan, as I am proud of all those from South Dakota and throughout the Nation who are serving their country in the Armed Forces.


Mr. DODD. Mr. President, today I join the Nation in grieving the tragic loss of the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia, which went down during its return to Earth after 16 days in space.

My heart especially goes out to the families of the seven astronauts on board the Columbia; Rick Husband, the mission commander, William McCool, the shuttle pilot, and the five crew-members, David Brown, Michael Anderson, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, and Ilan Ramon.

Ever since President Kennedy announced, on May 25, 1961, that the United States land an American safely on the Moon by the end of the 1960s, our Nation has been committed to reaching for the stars.

President Kennedy said, ``We choose to go to the moon ..... not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard.''

Thus begun America's space program, a program which has compelled some our Nation's brightest and bravest souls to risk their lives in the name of progress; to travel into the frontiers of space in order to advance human life here on Earth.

The space program has seen its share of tragedy. In the pre-space travel days of 1950s, daredevil pilots, such as form Senator John Glenn, risked it all to help us develop jet engine and rocket propulsion technologies, and to learn about the outer-reachers of our stratosphere. Dozens died in the process. They sacrificed their lives to make the space program possible.

Many of us are old enough to remember January 27, 1967, the day Apollo 1 exploded during a launch-pad test, killing all three astronauts on board, Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee. I personally remember the numbness I felt when hearing the news, and later watching the tragedy replayed on television.

But the space program went forward; 18 months later, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took man's first steps on the Moon.

All of a sudden, our boundaries seemed limitless.

In 1982, the space shuttle program became operational, and trips to space began seeming commonplace.

But once again, on January 28, 1986, our Nation mourned the loss of shuttle astronauts Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe, who were lost the Challenger shuttle exploded during take-off.

President Reagan's words spoke for an entire Nation when he said: ``We've grown used to the idea space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We are still pioneers.''

With those words, the space shuttle program went forward, and there have been dozens of shuttle launches over the past 15 years, reaping untold rewards for humanity in terms of increasing our understanding of physics, biology, and of the physical universe in which we live.

Now we are in the shadow of another tragedy. Some are questioning whether or not manned space flights ought to continue. Some say risks to the lives of the astronauts outweigh the gains we can make in terms of scientific progress.

I say we listen to the families of those lost on Space Shuttle Columbia. They are united in their feelings that their loved ones died doing what they loved most, that these heroes understood the risks, but were undeterred because they also understood the potential for gain.

These families are united in their belief that the space program must go on.

I believe that if it does not, than the lives of these seven astronauts would have been lost in vain.

Tragedies like these are a direct result of America's restless desire for progress, to go further, fly faster, learn more, and advance.

Robert Kennedy once said: ``It is from acts of courage that human history is shaped.''

These seven brave astronauts knew the risks. They were not deterred. They were emboldened. They gave their lives that humanity could take yet another leap forward into the vast unknown of future knowledge.

They are, and always will be, national heroes.

Reading through articles from Sunday's New York Times, I could not help but be struck by the diversity of the crew. Once upon a time, all NASA astronauts were white men from the military. But over the past few decades, NASA has been recruiting astronauts based on their skills, their excellence, and of course, their courage and commitment. That has meant a more diverse astronaut pool.

The crew of the Columbia were a wonderful example of this diversity, men and women, black and white, immigrant and native-born, as well as a crew-member from Israel, Ilan Ramon.

The crew of the Columbia offer us a reminder that there are not boundaries in space, and that humans are one race.

Together, we will overcome this tragedy. And together, we will continue to look toward the stars and beyond.

I ask unanimous consent to print in the RECORD seven articles from Sunday's New York Times, each of which offers insights into the lives and personal accomplishments of each of the astronauts lost in Saturday's tragedy.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

[From the New York Times, Feb. 2, 2003]
Loss of the Shuttle: The Astronauts; the Columbia Space Shuttle's Crew of 6 Americans and 1 Israeli
(By Pam Belluck)
Seven astronauts, six Americans and an Israeli, died aboard the shuttle Columbia yesterday. Of the crew of five men and two women, four had never flown in space before.

It took Rick D. Husband four tries to convince NASA to let him become an astronaut. The 45-year-old Air Force colonel from Amarillo, Tex., had yearned to fly in outer space since he was a child. ``It's been pretty much a lifelong dream and just a thrill to be able to get to actually live it,'' Colonel Husband told The Associated Press just before the Jan. 16 launching of the space shuttle Columbia.

Finally, Colonel Husband, a former test pilot who learned to fly when he was 18 and had more than 3,800 hours of flight time in more than 40 types of aircraft, was chosen for the NASA space program in 1994.

But it would take five more years of training and preparation before he would ride his first rocket into space. During that 10-day mission in 1999, Colonel Husband was the pilot of the space shuttle Discovery in the first mission by a shuttle crew to dock with the international space station.

After that he became chief of safety for NASA's astronaut office, and despite having only one space flight under his belt Colonel Husband was chosen to be the commander of the Columbia mission.

His mother, Jane Husband, said he prepared intensely, capitalizing on every minute, even an unexpected six-month delay when repairs forced the shuttle to be grounded last July.

``At Christmas, he was still studying, and I said, `Oh, gosh,' '' Mrs. Husband told the Ledger of Lakeland, Fla., just after the launching of the shuttle. ``He said, `I have to make sure everything is in my head perfect.' They're all like that. They have to be mentally prepared.''

Greg Ojakangas, a NASA consultant and professor of physics at Drury University in Springfield, MO., because friendly with Colonel Husband during the 1994 NASA selection process, when Dr. Ojakangas was not picked to be an astronaut.

``He finally made it,'' Dr. Ojakangas said. ``It was a tale of perseverance.''

Dr. Ojakangas said Colonel Husband was a religious man devoted to his family, whose only regret about joining the space program was that it kept him so busy.

``When I asked him how he was liking it,'' Dr. Ojakangas said, ``I remember him talking about how he wished he has more time at home.''

Colonel Husband, had a wife, Evelyn; a daughter, Laura, 8; and a son, Matthew, 3. A baritone who sang in a barbershop quartet while in school, Colonel Husband still sang in church choirs. And he loved water skiing and biking.

Colonel Husband's mother and uncle watched the shuttle launching in Florida last month, feeling some of the astronaut's excitement as the spacecraft took off.

``It was almost as if the creator arranged it,'' his uncle, George Drank, told The Ledger. ``The flood lights were on the shuttle. Then the sun started coming over the horizon. As it ascended into heaven, the sun was behind it, and it made a big dark streak across the sky. I looked back at his mother and brother and tears were streaming.''

Evelyn Husband said: ``I wasn't nervous about what he was doing because he worked so long and hard for it. But when that started lifting off, Mama started crying. It's different when your son is on it.''

When asked before the flight about being selected mission commander while being relatively new to the space program, Colonel Husband seemed modest and poised.

``I think,'' he said, ``a lot of it has to do with being at the right placeat the right time, for starters.''

--[From the New York Times Feb. 2, 2003]
Loss of the Shuttle: The Astronauts; the Columbia Space Shuttle's Crew of 6 Americans and 1 Israeli
(By Jodi Wilgoren)
Seven astronauts, six Americans and an Israeli, died aboard the shuttle Columbia yesterday. Of the crew of five men and two women, four had never flown in space before.

Laurel Salton Clark had conquered the sea, diving with the Navy Seals and conducting medical evacuations from submarines off Scotland. She had penetrated the air as a flight surgeon aboard the Marine Attack Squadron of the Year. Space was the logical next frontier.

``She was never one of these people to say, `O.K., I found what I want to do,' it was always `What the next challenge?' '' said Dr. Clark's younger brother, Daniel Salton. ``She was one of these people who just had goals, just saw the goal, the end result, and knew how much work it would take to get there and was willing to do it.''

Dr. Clark, 41, a Navy commander who was one of two women among the seven astronauts aboard the space shuttle Columbia, was always scuba diving or mountain biking, hiking or rock climbing or parachuting. She grew up in Racine, Wisc., the eldest of four children, married a fellow Navy officer, Jonathan Clark, who later joined her in working at NASA, and had an 8-year-old son, Iain.

In an e-mail message sent from the space shuttle a few days ago, Dr. Clark marveled at the view of Wind Point, a peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan a few miles from her childhood home, and wondered whether the photographs she had taken would turn out.

``Hello from above our magnificent planet earth,'' Dr. Clark wrote to a group of close friends and relatives. ``The perspective is truly awe-inspiring. Even the stars have a special brightness. I have seen my `friend' Orion several times.

An animal lover who was always the child to sleep with the family cat, Laurel Blair Salton graduated from Racine's William Horlick High School in 1979 and majored in zoology at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, intending to be a veterinarian. Instead, she attended the university's medical school, where she was part of a tight-knit group of six friends who saved up their vacation time and spent the last three weeks before graduation in 1987 sailing a 42-foot boat through the British Virgin Islands.

After nearly a decade in the Navy, with postings in Pensacola, Fla, Holy Loch, Scotland, and Yuma, Ariz, a friend suggested that Dr. Clark take the NASA test. Like many others, she was not accepted on the first round. She later became part of a class known as the Sardines, because it had more than 40 astronaut candidates, the most in history, Ms. Salton said.

At NASA, Dr. Clark was nicknamed ``Floral, ``because of the vibrant colors that she wore when not in uniform.

Mr. Salton said he never worried about the safety of the shuttle--until two weeks ago when he joined his mother, siblings and several of Dr. Clark's friends at the launching.

``I was just an emotional wreck when she was in space, when you actually see that rocket group,'' he recalled. ``Visions of the Challenger go through your head and you pray that its not going to happen. Once they're up in space, big sigh of relief, O.K. the dangerous part is over. I never ever considered that something could happen on the way down.''

While in space, Dr. Clark was part of several life-science experiments. In an interview from space published on Friday in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, she spoke of watching the sunsets.

``There's a flash--the whole payload bay turns this rosy pink,'' she said.

``It only lasts about 15 seconds and then it's gone. It's very ethereal and extremely beautiful.''

Always a lover of her Scottish heritage, Dr. Clark had chosen as her wake-up song aboard the shuttle a bagpipe version of ``Amazing Grace,'' similar to one played at her wedding.

It will also be played at her funeral.

--[From the New York Times, Feb. 2, 2003]
Loss of the Shuttle: The Astronauts; the Columbia Space Shuttle's Crew of 6 Americans and 1 Israeli
(By Warren E. Leary)
Seven astronauts, six Americans and an Israeli, died aboard the shuttle Columbia yesterday. Of the crew of five men and two women, four had never flown in space before.

Col. Ilan Ramon was a soft-spoken combat pilot conscious of the importance of symbols and history, and the role he played in both. In the days and weeks leading to the Columbia's mission, and as the shuttle carried out its 16 days of science experiments, much of the attention focused on Colonel Ramon.

The son and grandson of Holocaust survivors, Colonel Ramon, 48, was the first citizen of his country to go into space. The accomplishment, he said in an interview in mid-January, was not his alone.

``Every time you are the first, it is meaningful,'' he said. ``I am told my flight is meaningful to a lot of Jewish people around the world. Being the first Israeli astronaut, I feel I am representing all Jews and all Israelis.''

On the shuttle, where he presided over an Israeli project to collect images of dust storms to gauge their impact on climate, Colonel Ramon carried a special keepsake.

It was a small Torah scroll used at the bar mitzvah of the project's principal investigator, Dr. Joachim Joseph, almost 60 years ago while he was in a Nazi concentration camp. The elderly rabbi performing the ceremony, who died soon afterward in the camp, gave the Torah to the boy and told him to tell people what had happened there.

Dr. Joseph said Colonel Ramon saw the Torah when visiting his home and was so moved by the story that he asked to take it into space as a tribute.

Before the launching, most of the attention paid to the mission centered on security and efforts to keep the shuttle and its crew safe from any terrorist attack. Officials at NASA acknowledged that the presence of an Israeli astronaut had only intensified the heightened security they had imposed since Sept. 11, 2001.

But Colonel Ramon and his crewmates said they were not unduly concerned about their safety, and they concentrated on keeping up their training for their much-delayed research mission, Colonel Ramon, who spent more than four years preparing for the flight, saw it repeatedly postponed by higher-priority missions and problems that periodically grounded the shuttle fleet.

``I have a lot of patience,'' he said with a smile before the launching, ``but now I'm ready to go.''

Ilan Ramon was born on June 20, 1954, in a Tel Aviv suburb and, after graduating from high school in 1972, attended the Israel Air force Flight School. He became a fighter pilot and logged more than 4,000 hours in various combat aircraft. He fought in the Yom Kippur war of 1973 and in the Lebanon conflict in 1982.

He received a bachelor of science degree in electronics and computer engineering from the University of Tel Aviv in 1987, and in 1994 was promoted to colonel and assigned to head the air force's weapons development and acquisition division.

Colonel Ramon was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1997 as a result of a science agreement two years earlier between President Bill Clinton and Shimon Peres, then the Israeli foreign minister. He and his wife, Rona, moved to Houston in 1998 so he could begin training at the Johnson Space Center. He is also survived by four children ages 6 to 14.

--[From the New York Times, Feb. 2, 2003]
Loss of the Shuttle: The Astronauts; the Columbia Space Shuttle's Crew of 6 Americans and 1 Israeli
(By Lydia Polgreen)
Seven astronauts, six Americans and an Israeli, died aboard the shuttle Columbia yesterday. Of the crew of five men and two women, four had never flown in space before.

Nearly everyone who walks into Don Seath's classroom has at least toyed with the thought of becoming an astronaut. Mr. Seath, who has taught aerodynamics at the University of Texas of Arlington since 1965, would be hard pressed to think of a student who on first meeting seemed less likely to go into space than Kalpana Chawla. It was not that she lacked brilliance. ``She was a very good student, quite excellent,'' Mr. Seath said in a telephone interview. ``She was in my aerodynamics class, and she performed exceedingly well. She was very bright.''

What she did not have was the brash attitude most aspiring astronauts displayed.

``She was quiet and modest,'' Mr. Seath said. ``When I heard she had been accepted into the program to become a astronaut I was thrilled but also surprised.'' She just did not seem to fit the type, he said.

But Dr. Chawla, 41, never lacked determination, those who knew her said. From her childhood in Karnal, a small-town about 80 miles north of New Delhi, she nursed a lifelong dream to go into space. She early on set her sights on an American education that would take her up into the air.

``I was interested in aerospace and flying, and the U.S. is really the best place in the world for flying,'' she told the University of Texas at Arlington magazine in 1998.

Dr. Chawla was a brilliant student, always in the top five of her class, those who knew her said. After getting an engineering degree from Punjab Engineering College in 1982, she moved to the United States, where she attended the University of Texas at Arlington, then got a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado. Along the way she became a citizen of the United States.

In 1994, NASA selected her and 19 other people from a group of 4,000 other applicants to its astronaut program. On Nov. 19, 1997, she became the first Indian-born woman in space. She was assigned to the shuttle Columbia as a mission specialist and prime robotic arm operator.

The flight was not without mishaps. As robotic arm operator she was unable to retrieve the 3,000 pound Spartan satellite, which spun away after the shuttle released it, and astronauts had to go out on a space walk three days later to retrieve it. The mistake shook her confidence, and she feared her space career was over. But her concern was misplaced.

``Some of the senior people, the very senior astronauts, shook my hand and said, `K.C., you did a great job. Don't let anyone tell you different,' ``Dr. Chawla told the University of Texas at Arlington Magazine. A NASA inquiry later determined that the shuttle crew had made a series of errors that caused the satellite to malfunction.

In New Delhi, relatives of Dr. Chawla gathered to hear news and mourn together.

``Whenever you are involved in such tasks, one should be prepared for such things,'' said Anjay Chawla, Dr. Chawla's brother, his voice choking as he spoke to reporters. ``If it could happen to others it could happen to you as well. This time it happened to us.''

R. S. Bhatia, head of the Washington office of the Indian Space Research Organization, India's answer to NASA, said Dr. Chawla had become a symbol of India's greatness, even though she was no longer a citizen.

``After her first flight, she became a national hero,'' Mr. Bhatia said. ``She is an American citizen, but she is ours too. This is the most terrible tragedy. We have lost a hero.''

--[From the New York Times, Feb. 2, 2003]
Loss of the Shuttle: The Astronauts; the Columbia Space Shuttle's Crew of 6 Americans and 1 Israeli
(By Jeffrey Gettleman)
Seven astronauts, six Americans and an Israeli, died aboard the shuttle Columbia yesterday. Of the crew of five men and two women, four had never flown in space before.

Trapeze artist. Stilt walker. Test pilot. David M. Brown had a special blend of the right stuff. And a bucket of humility to go along with it.

``He was one of those guys who filled all the squares to be where he was,'' said Bob Ryan, another pilot-doctor who knew Dr. Brown from a flight surgeons' organization. ``But he was quiet about it. You'd never hear Dave beating his own drum.''

Dr. Brown, 46, grew up in Arlington, Va. He was a star gymnast on the parallel bars at Yorktown High School and went on to earn a letter at William and Mary. He also joined the circus, performing as an acrobat, unicyclist and stilt walker, all the while earning top marks in biology.

Dr. Brown, a 46-year-old doctor who died about the space shuttle Columbia yesterday, began his gravity defying days in Arlington, VA., where he starred on the Yorktown High School gymnastics team. He went on to join the circus while studying biology at the College of William and Mary. He was an acrobat, unicyclist and stilt walker.

``I always let him dream,'' said his mother, Dot.

He attended Eastern Virginia Medical School and signed up with the Navy afterwards.

He was sent to a military hospital in Alaska, and then served on an aircraft carrier. In 1988, Dr. Brown was selected for pilot training, a rarity for Navy doctors. He graduated No. 1 in his naval aviation class.

He flew F-18 Hornet jet fighters, A-6E Intruder aircraft and the high performance T-38 Talon, known as the white rocket. He joined the Navy test pilot school in 1995 and was chosen for the astronaut program the next year. It was his third try. His credentials in biology and medicine helped land him a spot on the Columbia mission, which focused on scientific research.

Dr. Brown was hooked on space, friends said. He had a telescope in his living room, aimed at the moon. Some nights, he would jump in his single-engine plane and fly the 50 miles from Houston, where he lived, to Galveston to attend astronomy club meetings.

``As we were flying through the night, Dave would point out all the stars and nebula,'' said Dwight Holland, an Air Force pilot and friend. ``He loved it.''

Solidly built with wholesome looks, Dr. Brown had never been married. His closest companion was his 14-year-old dog, Duggins, who died two days before the shuttle lifted off.

His parents live on a mountaintop in rural Virginia. Yesterday, they shared the last e-mail they received from him.

``My most moving moment was reading a letter that Ilan Ramon brought from a Holocaust survivor whose seven-year-old daughter died,'' Dr. Brown wrote. ``I was stunned such a beautiful planet could harbor such bad things.''

--[From the New York Times, Feb. 2, 2003]
Loss of the Shuttle: The Astronauts; the Columbia Space Shuttle's Crew of 6 Americans and 1 Israeli
(By Timothy Egan)
Seven astronauts, six Americans and an Israeli, died aboard the shuttle Columbia yesterday. Of the crew of five men and two women, four had never flown in space before.

Whenever Happy Watkins wanted to inspire black children in Spokane, an overwhelmingly white city in eastern Washington, he would reach into his wallet and pull out an autographed picture of Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson of the Air Force, the black astronaut who grew up in their town and died on the space shuttle Columbia today. ``These kids, some of them have no hope, and their eyes would light up when they saw this picture,'' said Mr. Watkins, who taught young Michael Anderson in the Sunday school at Morning Star Baptist Church in Spokane.

``This picture said it all--he's black, he's an astronaut--it was a huge motivator,'' Mr. Watkins said in an interview.

Born on Christmas Day 1959 in Plattsburgh, N.Y., the son of an Air Force serviceman, Colonel Anderson dreamed of the cosmos, and space flight, from the time he was a boy and got his first toy airplane at age 3.

He was a fan of Star Trek, and early on, he memorized the names of most of the American astronauts. He watched the Moon landing when he was a 9-year-old, and the excitement never left him, he said later.

He never doubted he would be an astronaut. ``I can't rememb


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