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Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1272)

Mike Rein
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

January 22, 2004
Space Shuttle Columbia Debris Repository To Be Opened To Media
Media will be able to view the permanent repository of Space Shuttle Columbia debris Friday, Jan. 30, at 9:30 a.m. EST at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. Columbia Preservation Team Lead Scott Thurston and Space Shuttle Launch Director Michael Leinbach will be available for questions during the viewing.

The debris is stored on the 16th floor of KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). The tour is divided into three sessions. The first departs the KSC Press Site at 9:30 a.m. EST and is reserved for TV reporters and videographers. The next two sessions, designed for print reporters and still photographers, leave the Press Site at approximately 10:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. EST. Access will be granted on a first-requested basis and limited to two persons per organization.

In the future, the debris will be used for research purposes so NASA and the scientific community can continue to learn from Columbia. After this media tour, the 16th floor area will be closed to the public and only available for viewing on a case-by-case basis.

Media who want to attend this viewing must contact the KSC Press Site by noon, Jan. 28, by calling Amber Marek at 321/867-2468.

Media who do not currently possess KSC credentials should submit their request on affiliation letterhead via fax to 321/867-2692. The request should include the following information:*Full Legal Name*Title*Date of Birth*Place of Birth*Social Security Number*Country of Citizenship
Since the VAB is an operational facility that deals in hazardous materials, all who enter must be properly dressed in long pants and closed-toe shoes with low heels. Sleeveless shirts are not allowed.

For information about NASA's human space flight programs on the Internet, visit:

For information on NASA's efforts to return the Space Shuttles to flight on the Internet, visit:


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