1. SOUNDBITE: (English) George W.Bush, US President
"My fellow Americans, this day has brought terrible news and great sadness to our country. At nine o'clock this morning, mission control in Houston, lost contact with space shuttle Columbia. A short time later debris was seen falling from the skies above Texas. The Columbia is lost. There are no survivors. On board was a crew of seven, Colonel Rick Husband, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Anderson, Commander Laurel Clark, Captain David Brown, Commander William McCool, Dr Kalpana Chawla and Ilan Ramon, a colonel in the Israeli air force. These men and women assumed great risk in the service to all humanity in an age when space flight has come to seem almost routine, it is easy to overlook the dangers of travel by rocket and the difficulties of navigating the fierce outer atmosphere of the earth. These astronauts knew the dangers and they faced them willingly, knowing they had a high and noble purpose in life. Because of their courage and daring and idealism, we will miss them all the more. All Americans today are thinking as well of the families of these men and women who have been given this sudden shock and grief. You are not alone, our entire nation grieves with you and those you loved will always have the respect and gratitude of this country. The cause of which they died will continue. Mankind was led into the darkness beyond our world with the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on. In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy, yet further than we can see there is comfort and hope. In the words of the prophet Isaiah 'Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength not one of them is missing'. The same creator who named the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to earth, yet we can pray that all are safely home. May God bless the grieving families and may God continue to bless America."
President George W. Bush sadly informed the American people on Saturday of the worst space tragedy in 17 years, saying "The Columbia's lost. There are no survivors."
Bush said the loss of the space shuttle and its seven astronauts "brought terrible news and great sadness to our country."
Addressing the nation from the Cabinet Room, Bush said, "The Columbia is lost."
Before his remarks, he telephoned the families of the astronauts to console them.
"These men and women assumed great risk in the service to all humanity," the president said. The astronauts knew the dangers and they faced them willingly," he said in brief remarks after returning to the White House from a weekend at Camp David, Maryland.
Flanked by two flags, Bush spoke slowly, his voice falling almost to a whisper at some points, his brows furrowed and his mouth downturned.
Earlier, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, announcing the shuttle's demise, said he had spoken with Bush and the president had offered his "full and immediate support" to determine what had gone wrong and what to do next.
O'Keefe spoke at a news conference in Cape Canaveral, Florence.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge coordinated the government response.
Under an executive order signed recently by Bush, Ridge is the coordinator of all domestic incidents of this magnitude, even when terrorism is not suspected.
"There is no information at this time that this was a terrorist incident," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the Homeland Security Department.
He said, "Obviously the investigation is just beginning, but that is the information we have now."
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I went to a Jimmy Buffett concert the night this happened. About an hour before the show he came out on stage and said that if it had happened earlier in the day he probably would have cancelled the concert then he said a few words in memory of the crew, thought it was a very classy thing to do.
Where was Khrushchev or whoever was in office during Soyuz 1? Soyuz 11? MiG plane crash? Maybe there's a radio recording somewhere, commies aren't known to have TVs at every house... Respect to all fallen spacemen.
He called the internet INTERNETS
He couldn't pronounce Nuclear
He couldn't understand that misunderestimate isn't a word
He didn't know what an OBGYN was
He could barely speak English what are you talking about eloquent.
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