Space Station Reaction - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Space Station Reaction

(Houston-AP) -- The space station crew is grieving for the loss of their colleagues aboard "Columbia."

Two-hundred-and-50 miles high in the sky, the two Americans and one Russian are also feeling a little isolated from the tragedy.

NASA told the crew of the disaster this morning, about 24 hours after Columbia broke up over Texas.

Bob Cabana, director of flight crew operations, says he told the men he'll keep them up to date on the investigation. He says he also shared stories of the lost astronauts, of how happy they were to be in space and how much it meant to them to be on the mission.

Cabana says, "Those are the memories I'm always going to cherish."

The Expedition Six, as the current crew is called, arrived at the station in November and was scheduled to return to in March. The crew consists of NASA astronauts Ken Bowersox and Don Pettit, and Russian Soyuz commander Nikolai Budarin.

The three men could remain where they are until June without a visit from the space shuttle, program manager Dittemore said.

An unmanned supply vessel was to be launched Sunday from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome. It was scheduled to arrive at the orbiting station Tuesday.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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