‘Bringing Columbia Home' Explains a Disaster in the Texas Skies — and How Thousands Helped on the Ground

My dog and I jumped, startled, at the same time. It was the morning of Feb. 1, 2003, and I was walking her around our East Dallas neighborhood when we heard a loud boom that sounded like a quarry blast. There seemed to be an odd contrail in the sky, a curlicue of smoke descending to the horizon. The office called about 10 minutes later and told me to turn on the television. Despite the fact that I was The Dallas Morning News' science reporter, that my husband and I followed space launches, and that my brother-in-law worked on the space shuttle program in Houston, I had no idea that the shuttle Columbia was scheduled to pass over Dallas that morning on its way toward a landing in Florida. What my dog and I had experienced was it disintegrating overhead.   Continue reading...

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