Possum Says: Hail Columbia
- Possum Says: Hail Columbia
Yesterday was Feburary, 01, 2003. A day that will be recorded in history for all mandkind to review. Yes it was tragic, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart during reentry, killing all seven crewmembers. Worldwide flags are at half mast, our thoughts and prayers are with the crewmembers' families and with a grieving world shocked by this tragedy.
I have taken the time to archive some info to pass to my friends because many are interested and some may have problems locating info or limited access. Over the following days, every news organization on the planet will be following this story closely, to keep up to date with the recovery efforts and the subsequent investigations. Two sites that i think you should bookmark and visit frequently are Yahoo Full Coverage's Space Shuttle Page.
and Google News http://news.google.com/
Because my hobby is ham radio i personally watch NASA TV is also a wonderful resource for news straight from the US Space Agency. NASA TV is broadcast on satellite GE-2, transponder 9C, C-Band, located at 85 degrees West longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is always vertical and audio is monaural at 6.8 MHz.
If you have Windows Media Player, you can also watch NASA TV online at
For those that use Real Player, as i do, you can watch NASA TV online at
If for some reason neither of the above links work, you can go to
From my ham radio point of view, I personally think there are two US newspapers that will offer the best, most informed coverage of this tragedy. They are the Houston Chronicle and the Huntsville Times. Houston, Texas is the home of the Johnson Space Center, responsible for covering all manned space flights, and Huntsville, Alabama is home of the Marshall Space Flight Center, responsible for space propulsion and design [I hope i got that correct ... lol]. The hometown newspapers in both towns are packed with journalists who are experts in space flight and shuttle operations. Many of these journalists are also licensed ham radio operators. The Houston Chronicle's, SpaceChronicle Page is located at
I do want to warn you that the SpaceChronicle page is currently displaying a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration radar image from Shreveport, Louisiana, showing the path of Columbia debris as it moves across Texas into Louisiana. This image can be and is quite disturbing.
As far as i know, the Huntsville Times doesn't have an online site of its own, rather it
publishes its content on the al.com site at http://www.al.com/huntsvilletimes/ I personally think the Huntsville Times does not update its articles as often as the Houston Chronicle does, so you can expect a little time lag.
I personally have many ham radio friends that are located in Texas and Louisiana. For those friends i would like to pass the following information on to you. Thats because you are some that are possibly inline with this fallen debris. Also some on many groups that i frequently post may be inline also.
Anyone who believes they have found debris related to Columbia should call the Johnson Space Center Emergency Operations Center, (281)-483-3388. Be aware that hazardous chemicals may be present, so please do not disturb or move any debris you find.
For those that think differently. All of these debris is United States Government property and is very critical to the investigation of the shuttle accident. Any and all debris from this or any other accident should be left alone and reported to Government authorities.
I have heard that any unauthorized persons found in possession of accident debris will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I just thought i would add this for your protection. Let me add that if you do locate any debris, contact not only the Johnson Space Center but also you local or county law enforcement agency. This way you are in the clear.
Finally, to all my friends and readers and fellow hams, let me say again that our thoughts and prayers are with the crewmembers' families and with a grieving world shocked by this tragedy.
I hope some of the information i am passing along in some way helps and benifits my friends and readers and especially benefits the hobby of ham radio. You can always contact me, the possum, direct at w3lap@...
Until next time,
73 de possum