Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Piece of Space Shuttle Columbia Found in Texas

Growing up in the Central Florida area I've gotten to the point where stories about the Space Shuttles don't really make an impact. Every day its something about the people involved, layoffs, new projects, rockets being launched, etc so you really get sort of desensitized about the whole thing. Today, however, a story on the news tonight caught my attention. Apparently after 8 years of being submerged in a lake a very large portion of the Columbia was located because Texas is in the middle of a serious drought.

In the picture above, it shows all the pieces from the Columbia laid out in a grid to show where each piece originated. At the time of this accident I was employed at the Space Center so I was able go to this hangar to view all the wreckage. It was really fascinating and somewhat sobering to know that the package of perfectly intact light bulbs survived the re-entry but the lives aboard did not. Looking at this photo does not do it justice, the place was enormous and the size of each piece of wreckage found ranged from very small pieces all the way to a lot of pieces that were quite large. We were quietly walking around pointing things out along the way but one thing that everyone commented on was the smell. It was very, very strong and I'd say it was somewhere in the range between wet ashtray and leftover campfire. Its something I won't forget seeing or smelling.

Piece of Columbia Found

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