CNN: "The space shuttle Columbia, carrying a crew of seven, broke up Saturday morning 200,000 feet above Texas."
Sacramento Bee: "Space shuttle Columbia appeared to begin trailing fiery debris as it passed over Eastern California early Saturday."
Glenn Reynolds: "Post 9/11 and with a war looming, we're a bit tougher about tragedies."
NY Times: "Like the space shuttle Challenger disaster 17 years ago this week and the attacks of Sept 11, the breakup of the Columbia unfolded in real time before a nationwide television audience, sparking many of the same unsettled feelings."
Radar image from the National Weather Service that shows the crash, vividly, in color.
NASA news conference, finished at 10:30AM Pacific, offers no theory as to the cause of the disaster.
Reuters: Iraqis Call Shuttle Disaster God's Vengeance.
Mail list post by a former NASA flight controller with the most common theory we've heard about why it happened. "The left wing was struck by External Tank debris during ascent." Thanks to Doug Kaye for the link.
Time: Aerodynamics May Explain Space Shuttle Breakup.
Laurel Clark was a resident of Racine, WI.
Cory points to eBay sale of shuttle debris. Ouch.
Dan Gillmor: "Space is humanity's destiny."
Al Tompkins at Poynter.Org is doing a great job covering the disaster.
Please send me reports. Best way, post it to your weblog and send me a pointer. Second best, post in the comments here. Third, via email. Any of these ways is okay. Let's share information. Thanks.
It was barely daylight when the breakup occurred. On NPR they're speculating that it was metal fatigue. The engines aren't powered at this point in the flight. Seven people on board. First Israeli astronaut. Debris is being found all across north Texas. CNN has a series of photos showing the Shuttle breaking up. They were emailed to them from a man on the ground in Texas.
Ronald Reagan, 1/28/86: "We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers."
Kendall Clark: "I woke up to the sound of a very loud sonic boom over head."
Space.Com discussion group thread on the Shuttle mission.
Russian report with a pic of debris from CNN.
Indian report on India's astronaut, Kalpana Chawla.
Reuters: "The US space agency NASA lost contact with the space shuttle Columbia minutes before its scheduled landing and says there could be debris in Texas from the orbiter."
Lou Josephs: "Three people are still on board the International Space Station."
NASA statement at 8:30AM Pacific.
Andrew Juby: "My roommate has access to Goddard Space Flight Center's Orbital Information group server. He can pull up data on just about any non-classified orbiting object. We checked it this morning and pulled up some data on Columbia, and ran it by the aerospace major across the hall. It appears that at about 2 or 3AM, as Columbia was into its descent, it pulled up."
Glenn Reynolds has a link to Spaceflight Now, which provides a real-time chronology of events. "At an altitude of 40 miles, shuttle Columbia has entered Texas." Chilling.
Washington Post: "..first Israeli astronaut."
NY Times: "It is not too much to say that along with an Israeli flag, Col Ilan Ramon carried Israel's dreams with him into space."
David Brown, via email: "There are reports that something hit the left wing of the shuttle upon launch, that there was something falling from the wing."
Scott Adams is accumulating links to stories about the Shuttle.
Google News search for "columbia space shuttle."
NY Times: AOL's Need: A New Vision.
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