SPECIAL REPORT - Satellite Imagery of Shuttle Debris Area

By Joe Francica

Space Imaging Releases Imagery of Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster
Nacogdoches, Texas

On February 1, 2003, Space Imaging Corporation took 3,000 sq km (1,865 sq miles) of high-resolution imagery centered over Nacogdoches, TX.The image below is 4-meter resolution 'overview' image of Nacogdoches, TX taken at 11 a.m., approximately three hours after the break-up of the Space Shuttle Columbia.This overview image was taken with Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite and shows the town of Nacogdoches and the rural area surrounding it.At this reduced resolution, debris from the Shuttle can not be seen. See higher resolution imagery further below and addition maps at the bottom of this article.

The satellite imagery company was able to reprogram its IKONOS satellite just as it entered into the North American communication cone.The satellite took the imagery just minutes after it was 'reprogrammed'.All of the images were taken at the same time; approximately three hours after the break up of the shuttle.

On February 4th, Space Imaging took an additional 7,000 sq km (4,349 sq miles) of IKONOS imagery (see below) at 1 meter resolution at NASA's request.This imagery is being donated by Space Imaging to NASA as a public service.Click for full resolution image.

See below for a close up image of debris area from above image.

Imagery courtesy of Space Imaging Corporation

Maps below were produced by Stephen F.Austin Univeristy's Forest Research Insitute

Click on map for larger image

STS-107 Lost upon Re-entry

Click for larger image

U.S.Weather Radar Sattelite imagery collected from the Shreveport, Louisiana National Weather Service Forecast Office.
Image shows the plume produced by the breakup of the Columbia Space Shuttle as recorded by the weather satellite.
The space shuttle's last recorded altitude was 207,000 feet traveling at Mach 18.
Read more about space shuttle mission STS-107 at Space.com

February 1, 2003

Image Courtesy of the National Weather Service, NOAA

Map of Shuttle Debris Field

Map above shows predicted path of shuttle debris
Source: The New York Times
Map Data Copyright Caliper Corporation
Map created by Geodezix Consulting

Published Friday, February 7th, 2003

Written by Joe Francica

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