NASA Probe to Include System Managed in Huntsville - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

February 2, 2003 1:30 p.m.

NASA Probe to Include System Managed in Huntsville

NASA's probe into the Columbia tragedy will take a close look at a system managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The mood at Marshall remained somber Sunday as the Columbia crew was remembered at religious services. Flags are flying at half staff.

One of the issues NASA says it will study is a piece of soft foam insulation that dropped off the shuttle's large external fuel tank and struck the orbiter during launch. Marshall manages the space shuttle's propulsion system, which includes the external tank program.

A Marshall spokesman confirmed that the center had called in workers Saturday to help begin the probe. Marshall workers, as well as those from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Johnson Space Center in Texas, will be involved in a Rapid Response Team, according to NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe.

In a statement, Marshall Space Flight Center Director Art Stephenson says, "Our thoughts and prayers are with these seven brave men and women, their families and friends."

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