Texas drought yields part of Columbia space shuttle
NASA officials confirmed that a piece of the space shuttle Columbia was found in the East Texas city of Nacogdoches.
The object, which was later revealed to be the space shuttle’s tank that provided water and power during its missions, measured about four feet in diameter. It was found near a private shoreline along Lake Nacogdoches where other debris of the spacecraft were found after it broke up while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere on February 1, 2003.
Sgt. Greg Sowell of the Nacodoches Police Department said that the object was found amidst the drought currently being experienced in Texas which resulted to the waters of Lake Nacogdoches to recede.
“The lower water level has exposed a larger than normal area on the northern side of the lake,” he said.
Local authorities notified NASA immediately after the object was found. Lisa Malone, spokesperson for the agency, said that they are now trying to develop a plan to retrieve the object, which could be weeks from now.
“We’re looking into whether we’ll send a team out or [if] local authorities can [bring it to us],” she told reporters.
Sgt. Sowell sent out a friendly reminder to the locals not to touch or disturb the object while NASA determines the most practical way to retrieve it.
“We want to remind everyone that the rules are the same as they were back in 2003. If this object is indeed a part of the shuttle, it is government property, and it is a criminal offense to tamper with it.”
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