ETX facility keeps Columbia's name in the sky - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

ETX facility keeps Columbia's name in the sky

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Lawsuits seek any Michael Brown juvenile records

    Lawsuits seek any Michael Brown juvenile records

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 1:36 AM EDT2014-09-03 05:36:02 GMT
    Lingering questions about Michael Brown could be answered Wednesday as two news organizations seek the release of any possible juvenile records for the unarmed 18-year-old who was killed by a Missouri police...More >>
    Lingering questions about Michael Brown could be answered Wednesday as two news organizations seek the release of any possible juvenile records for the unarmed 18-year-old who was killed by a Missouri police officer...More >>
  • CVS changes name, stops tobacco sales early

    CVS changes name, stops tobacco sales early

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 12:50 AM EDT2014-09-03 04:50:56 GMT
    As CVS sharpens its focus on customer health, the nation's second-largest drugstore chain will tweak its corporate name and stop the sale of tobacco nearly a month sooner than...More >>
    As CVS sharpens its focus on customer health, the nation's second-largest drugstore chain will tweak its corporate name and stop the sale of tobacco nearly a month sooner than...More >>
  • Montgomery residents, mayor respond to proposed trash fee increase

    Montgomery residents, mayor respond to proposed trash fee increase

    Wednesday, September 3 2014 12:22 AM EDT2014-09-03 04:22:23 GMT
    A proposed garbage fee hike has some Montgomery residents talking. Some say it will put a strain on citizens but city officials say it's necessary to keep the city's trash operations running they way theyMore >>
    A proposed garbage fee hike has some Montgomery residents talking. Some say it will put a strain on citizens but city officials say it's necessary to keep the city's trash operations running the way they are.More >>
PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) -

For one East Texas facility, the Columbia disaster changed them forever. The Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility is a NASA launch site that became a debris collection site in the months after the shuttle crashed.

Located in the piney woods of Palestine, the facility has been there for more than 50 years, but after the shuttle crash, they changed their name to honor those lost on February 1, 2003.

"A local civic organization got together and decided to rename us in honor of the shuttle disaster," said Michelle Johnson, network administrator for The Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility.

The Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility has been a NASA balloon launch point since 1962, but in 2003, things changed.

"We think back on that time with a lot of sadness, because it was obviously a time of great sadness for the country, but particularly those who work with NASA," said CSBF site manager, Danny Ball.

With the large amount of debris that fell in Palestine, the facility became a make-shift collection site.

"It upset our life for months because we had upwards of three hundred people with the debris collection team here for three months," Ball said.

It was a time that changed the community, so much so that local donors paid to have the facilities name changed and a plaque donated.

"The community came together and just made sure everything was handled and whatever help people needed, they got it. We just really came together," Johnson said.

Today, the balloon facility is one of 62 launch sites in the world that send large balloons with scientific plods at the bottom into the atmosphere, near space. The data is recorded in a control center, where they are able to track the balloons.

Facility operators said they're proud to bear the Columbia name and honor those that lost their lives.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

 

Powered by WorldNow