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April 15, 2003

Glenn Mahone/Doc Mirelson
Headquarters, Washington

Dave Drachlis/Kelly Humphries
Lufkin Command Center

Stan Chapman
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington

Gay Ippolito
U.S. Forest Service, Lufkin, Texas


NASA, Department of Agriculture & U.S. Forest Service Leaders Visit Columbia Debris Searchers in East Texas

News media are invited to meet with NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary James R. Moseley, and U.S. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth during their visit to Space Shuttle Columbia search and recovery operation sites in East Texas on Wednesday, April 16.

The officials will observe ground operations, thank search personnel for their significant contributions to the recovery effort, and receive an update on the nearly 11-week operation.

Media are invited to witness operations with the group during a morning visit to an active search site in the vicinity of Palestine, Texas. The group is scheduled to arrive in Palestine about 10 a.m. CDT.

A media opportunity is also scheduled for approximately 4:30 p.m. CDT at the Lufkin Emergency Operations Center, 415 S. First St. Lufkin, Texas.

News media may cover the group's evening visit to the Incident Command Post at Hemphill, Texas. The group will arrive at the camp about 6 p.m. CDT, to receive briefings and have dinner with search teams.

Media should contact the Lufkin Joint Information Center at: 936/699-1019/1094 to participate in events. While in the field, media must follow the safety directions of the search team leader and stay with escorts.

For information about NASA and the Columbia Accident Investigation on the Internet, visit:

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