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I detailed how Commander Jeff Ashby recently shared so many insightful details about a Shuttle flight and the International Space Station while visiting my company. One I had left off, at that time not considered pertinent, was how the commanders wives are along side the runway ceremoniously critiquing how close the pilot lands and stops the front wheel set on the 300' wide runway landing strip.

Rick Husband's wife was surely there. He was STS-113/10A's Commander. News media detailed how the count down clock had reached zero and started counting up the delay time from when the Columbia was expected to touch down. It was then that veteran news media realized they had not heard the characteristic sonic boom of reentry usually long before touch down.

First astronaut families, then news media were escorted away from the landing site.

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe was meeting with the astronauts' families, who had been waiting at Kennedy Space Center for the shuttle's landing, spokeswoman Melissa Motichek said.

'A contingency for the space shuttle has been declared,' Mission Control somberly repeated over and over as no word or any data came from Columbia.

Only three of the seven astronauts had flown in space before.

Imagine the sorrow, frustration and fears the three astronauts on the International Space Station feel having been the last people to see these 7 heros alive.
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