NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- A round 40-inch aluminum storage tank from space shuttle Columbia's Power Reactant and Storage Distribution System rests on the edge of Lake Nacogdoches in Texas. Lower lake water levels due to a local drought allowed the debris to become exposed. Columbia was destroyed during re-entry at the conclusion of the STS-107 mission in 2003. Approximately 38 to 40 percent of Columbia was recovered following the accident in a half-million-acre search area which extended from eastern Texas and to western Louisiana. This tank is one of 18 cryogenic liquid storage tanks that flew aboard Columbia. The tank is not hazardous to people or the environment and will be transported to NASA's Kennedy Space Center for storage inside the Vehicle Assembly Building with the rest of the recovered Columbia debris.
For information on STS-107 and the Columbia accident, visit http://www.nasa.gov/columbia/home/index.html. Photo credit: Nacogdoches Police Dept.