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The crew members of Shuttle mission STS 107

Commander: Rick D. HusbandPayload Commander: Michael P. AndersonMission Specialist 4: Laurel Blair Salton ClarkMission Specialist 2: Kalpana ChawlaPayload Specialist 1: Ilan RamonPilot: William C. McCoolMission Specialist 1: David M. Brown

Our thoughts and prayers are turned towards the family, friends and colleagues of the crew.

Animations of possible initial "separation" events of Columbia over California.
Report by Liam Kennedy -- 2/7/2003

This is an update to the article I posted earlier related to the video taken by OCA Member and past president John Sanford.

John sent me some frames from the video that he has sent to NASA. These frames represent three instants in time for two different events.

Event 1: Brightening of the shuttle followed by view of some "diffuse" material/objects going into the trail behind Columbia.

Event 2: Bright object separating from the Shuttle.

Note: The above animations were based upon the original images sent to me by John. For the record you can see them here.

How I created the animations

I created the animations within Photoshop/ImageReady. I have taken each frame and overlaid them and shifted them so that the "shuttle" is in approximately the same spot each time. Recognize that in reality the shuttle is moving. Displaying the animation in this way allows you to see the "debris" more easily than from the original images. I have also adjusted the brightness in the images so that the background of each frame is the same shade.

Further emails from John

John sent me the follow note related to the above images.

I made new stills last night from my copy tape and I think they show the events better.
The first 3 show a flash at the start of the event with the material going into the trail.
The second 3 show the bright object separating.
These were made simply by step framing through the tape then shooting a 1/4 sec, @ f/5.6 exposure on 400ISO Kodak B&W film of my old Toshiba 27" lineless TV. The prints from Rite Aid were then scanned onto a Kodak CD and these files treated in PhotoShop for contrast and brightness and the small captions added.
I had to keep the files pretty big for the newspapers that might use (Register and Fresno Bee).

John later sent me the following email related to his direct contact with NASA investigators.

Dear Friends,

Just a quick update from Starhome. After the airing on TV last weekend (Dateline, NBC News, etc.), the local print media have been doing stories, etc.

The original video finally arrived at NASA today (Thursday) after being mailed Monday (priority). Boy are they interested! I got a cal from a Cmdr. Frick in the Astronaut Office, and he said they had 3 image specialists on it trying to do a trajectory to find out where the piece shown in my video landed.

He asked about the camera focal length, and said my timings seemed to fit in perfectly with their timeline. So maybe there will be some mention at the briefing on NASA Channel tomorrow. (?)

Report by Liam Kennedy. 2/7/2003

Columbia Shuttle Articles

OCA Member John Sanford Video of Columbia over California

Update: Animated Images of Columbia

Update: Original Images for Animation

Artists Tribute to Columbia Crew

Article on Washington Post on Amateur videos of event

NEW 2/8: Powerpoint Presentation from NASA of Left Wing Sensor Failures

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