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Debris from shuttle Columbia found in a lake in Texas

08-03-2011 10:50 BJT

After 8 years it fell to the Earth, a 4-feet in diameter piece of space shuttle Columbia’s debris has been found in Lake Nacogdoches in Texas, NASA confirmed Tuesday.

The sphere was found after drought caused the water levels to recede.

The space agency is planning to retrieve this piece and return it to Kennedy Space Centre.

This 4-feet in diameter sphere found was found in Lake Nacogdoches, Texas on Monday, as a
drought has lowered the water level. The container-like object is likely from space shuttle
Columbia.

Shuttle debris landed across Texas and into Louisiana as the shuttle streaked back towards
a landing at the Kennedy Space Center. The shuttle exploded 16 minutes landing.

The shuttle disintegrated minutes before it had been due to land at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. Seven astronauts were killed in the disaster.

The astronauts aboard Columbia mission STS-107 – commander Rick Husband, 45, pilot Willie McCool, 41, and crewmates David Brown, 46, Kalpana Chawla, 41, Laurel Clark, 41, Michael Anderson, 43, and Ilan Ramon, 48 - were honored posthumously with the highest award given within Nasa; the Congressional Space Medal of Honour.

The disaster resulted in a two-year suspension of NASA's space shuttle fleet.

More than 84,000 pieces of wreckage from Columbia falling down on Texas and Louisiana. And between 38 and 40 percent of Columbia has been recovered since the disaster. They are stored under climate-controlled conditions. Each piece was numbered and catalogued to help investigators to piece together the shattered spacecraft like a giant jigsaw puzzle in the search for clues to its demise, and the geographical location at which each piece was found was plotted using global positioning satellite technology.

The Columbia mission crew were honored posthumously with the highest award given within
NASA, the Congressional Space Medal of Honour.

The Columbia takes off January 16, 2003. On the
right is a video image released by NASA that shows
debris falling off the external tank at
approximately 80-84 seconds after lift off.

In these images made from video, combined from left to right in chronological order, trails
from the debris of the space shuttle are seen in the sky over Texas on February 1, 2003.

Editor:Shi Jierui |Source: CNTV.CN

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