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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS007 (2003)

ARLS007 Columbia recovery effort over for Texas hams

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 007  ARLS007
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  February 14, 2003
To all radio amateurs

ARLS007 Columbia recovery effort over for Texas hams

Ham radio support for the shuttle Columbia debris search and
recovery effort in Nacogdoches and San Augustine counties in Texas
wrapped up February 12. US Forest Service personnel were scheduled
to assume the support role hams had filled in East Texas for nearly
two weeks.

South Texas Section Emergency Coordinator Bob Ehrhardt, W5ZX,
praised amateurs for their professionalism and dedication. Ehrhardt
said the weather often was rainy and cold with some sleet--and the
brambles and briars in the forest did not help. Ehrhardt said the
agencies the hams worked with were pleasantly surprised, and
pleased, too. As he put it: ''I know that we changed several minds
that we could get the job done.''

Hams spent about 12 days in the Columbia search-and-recovery effort,
using GPS and off-the-shelf computer mapping software to pin down
and report the locations of debris items as they were sighted.

Preliminary numbers reported this week indicated that 198 amateurs
logged in at one time or another in Nacogdoches County and 148 in
San Augustine County. An estimated 80 percent of the participating
amateurs were from outside the two counties.