NASA Engineer Makes First Public Comments Since `Columbia' Disaster

Hampton, Virginia-AP -- A NASA engineer who wrote of a possible catastrophe says he was uneasy the morning of "Columbia's" landing, but still felt it would touch down safely.

Bob Daugherty, an engineer in Virginia, made his first public comments Monday about the furor his e-mails started.

Daugherty wrote that if the shuttle's wing were breached, the tires could explode, causing a catastrophe.

But Monday, Daugherty says his comments were meant to only spark a debate and that NASA managers handled them appropriately. He said he wanted to make sure that Mission Controllers were prepared if Columbia had to land with two flat tires.

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