posted Saturday, February 01, 2003 at 8:49 AM MST
Ground control flies flag half-mast
Excerpted from NASA Statement on Loss of Columbia: "Entry Flight Director Leroy Cain declared a contingency for the shuttle Columbia at around 9:14 EST ... Communication and tracking of the shuttle was lost at 9 a.m. EST at an altitude of about 203,000 feet in the area above north central Texas. At the time communications were lost. The shuttle was traveling approximately 12,500 miles per hour (Mach 18). No communication and tracking information were received in Mission Control after that time. "
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