NASA will create central repository of Columbia data

NASA will create central repository of Columbia data

NASA has begun amassing data that will help it analyze the cause of Saturday's space shuttle disaster, senior agency officials said today.

"Some is photographic, and some is data from the mission control center," Bill Readdy, associate administrator for space flight, said at a press briefing in Washington.

NASA locked down its shuttle computers immediately following the disaster to preserve data, Readdy said.

All of the information will go in the database that the agency will use to re-enact the events that led to Columbia's disintegration, he said. "Much of the information comes from telemetry processed at mission control."

Readdy reiterated statements made yesterday by space shuttle program director Ron Dittemore that NASA has about 30 seconds of corrupted shuttle telemetry data that it may be able to synchronize and analyze [see story at www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/21033-1.html].

NASA engineers also will use computer models to reconstruct Columbia's trajectory, Readdy said.

NASA will use geographic information systems tools provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency for analyzing debris on the ground, he said.

'We are relying on the Defense Department to do imaging analysis of the debris," Readdy said.

NASA contractors for the space shuttle program, including Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., also will play a role in the investigation, he said.

NASA is conducting an internal investigation of the accident and has created an independent outside investigation group.

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