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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB012 (2003)

ARLB012 Texas amateurs aid in shuttle debris recovery, cataloging

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 12  ARLB012
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  February 3, 2003
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB012 Texas amateurs aid in shuttle debris recovery, cataloging

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and SKYWARN volunteers in
Nacogdoches, Texas, have been assisting local emergency management
officials and NASA to locate and catalog debris from the Columbia
shuttle. The shuttle and its crew of seven, including three hams,
were lost over Texas February 1.

ARES and SKYWARN volunteers from the Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club
have been surveying the area in and around Nacogdoches looking for
shuttle debris. Public Information Officer Tim Lewallen, KD5ING, of
the Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club said amateurs have been
accompanying officials from both NASA and the EPA to expedite the
search and clean up of area schools. Texas officials have cancelled
school in most of East Texas because of fears that shuttle debris
could pose a health hazard.

''Usually we just get the coordinates, take a photo and move on to
the next site,'' Lewallen said, ''and someone from NASA will come
along and pick up the piece later.''

He said the club had additional volunteers lined up for duty over
the next few days, with amateurs coming from East Texas, Houston and
Dallas. The ARES and SKYWARN volunteers have been working with
emergency officials from Nacogdoches County, Texas Rangers, NASA,
Texas Department of Public Safety, EPA and the National Guard.

The ARES and SKYWARN volunteers also were following up on
NASA-provided telemetry and radar information that indicates where
debris might be found, Lewallen said. The search area includes
densely forested areas. NASA has requested that those encountering
debris avoid any contact with it and cautioned that persons found
with stolen accident debris will be prosecuted to the full extent of
the law.

The Columbia crew, headed by Commander Rick Husband, included Pilot
Willie McCool and Mission Specialists Kalpana ''KC'' Chawla, KD5ESI;
David Brown, KC5ZTC; Laurel Clark, KC5ZSU, Michael Anderson, and
Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon.


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