The object was found by fishermen in Lake Nacogdoches.
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A piece of wreckage from space shuttle Columbia was exposed as the level of Lake Nacogdoches in Texas dropped during the drought. (Nacogdoches Police Department / August 3, 2011)
NASA officials confirmed Tuesday that debris revealed by the receding waters of a drought-stricken Texas lake is from the space shuttle Columbia.
The object was found by fishermen last week in Nacogdoches after severe drought in the state caused water levels at nearby Lake Nacogdoches to drop, said Sgt. Greg Sowell of the Nacogdoches Police Department.
It is one of 18 tanks that stored supercold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.
|Columbia (OV-102), the first of NASA's orbiter fleet, was delivered to Kennedy Space Center in March 1979. Columbia initiated the Space Shuttle flight program when it lifted off Pad A in the Launch Complex 39 area at KSC on April 12, 1981. Credit : Nasa|
Columbia and its crew were tragically lost during STS-107 in 2003. As the Space Shuttle lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 16, a small portion of foam broke away from the orange external fuel tank and struck the orbiter's left wing. The resulting damage created a hole in the wing's leading edge, which caused the vehicle to break apart during reentry to Earth's atmosphere on February 1.
Columbia was named after a small sailing vessel that operated out of Boston in 1792 and explored the mouth of the Columbia River. One of the first ships of the U.S. Navy to circumnavigate the globe was named Columbia. The command module for the Apollo 11 lunar mission was also named Columbia.