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Texas drought exposes Shuttle Columbia piece

08-03-2011 16:09 BJT

BEIJING, Aug. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- NASA Tuesday confirmed a 4-foot in diameter sphere debris as a fuel tank that was part of the space shuttle Columbia's electrical power system,according to U.S. news reports.

This Aug. 1, 2011 handout photo provided by the Nacogdoches Police Department shows a 4-feet in diameter sphere found in Lake Nacogdoches, Texas on Monday, Aug. 1. Police say low water levels at the lake during the drought have led to recovery of a container-like object that could be from space shuttle Columbia. The shuttle broke apart and burned in February 2003, scattering remnants over East Texas. (Xinhua/AFP Phtoto)

NASA engineers identified the 4-foot piece of spherical debris as one of the18 tanks that held chilled oxygen and hydrogen used by the shuttle's electricity-generating fuel cells.

Police in the city of Nacogdoches, about 160 miles northeast of Houston, said Monday the low water levels of Lake Nacogdoches during the record drought revealed an unexpected object that could be from space shuttle Columbia. The shuttle broke apart and burned as it re-entered the atmosphere on February 1, 2003.

The tank will be moved to the Kennedy Space Center, where the rest of the Columbia is stored. Approximately 40 percent of the spacecraft has been recovered.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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