Some of the seven astronauts on the Shuttle Columbia that broke apart over Texas while descending to a scheduled landing in Florida today had California backgrounds. The pilot Navy Commander William McCool was born in San Diego. Native of India 41-year-old Kalpana Chawla previously worked at NASA´s Ames Research Center here in Northern California.
U-S House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California says about 150 participants in a House Democrats weekend conference in Pennsylvania were gathering in prayer for the astronauts aboard the space shuttle. Pelosi said “Our thoughts and prayers are with the American people who place so much hope and who associate themselves with the courage and the bravery of those who venture into space.”