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Key Developments in Columbia Disaster

10:36 AM EST February 04, 2003
The Associated Press

Developments in the Columbia disaster:

- President Bush planned to travel to Houston with former astronauts Neil Armstrong and John Glenn to lead a memorial service for Columbia's seven astronauts.

- NASA engineers focused on video, computer data and everything else that led them to conclude that a flyaway chunk of insulation did not harm Columbia during liftoff.

- Members of the independent investigation board arrived in Nacogdoches, Texas, via helicopter to get a first-hand look at the debris scattered over the countryside.

- Investigators located the spacecraft's nose cone partially buried in a heavily wooded area of eastern Texas. A recovery crew was returning to the site.

- Congressional leaders said Congress will carefully examine the need to boost NASA's budget while taking a longer view of where America is heading with its space program.

- Japan's space agency said it will not allow any Japanese astronauts to participate in space shuttle missions until it has determined them to be safe. Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi had been scheduled to fly on NASA's next shuttle mission to the space station on March 1, which has been put on hold.

- An unmanned Russian cargo craft docked at the international space station, bringing vital fuel and food to the outpost and three crewmen suddenly cut off from a major supply line following the loss of the shuttle Columbia.

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