(Kennedy Space Center-AP) -- Space shuttle "Columbia" is missing. NASA has declared an emergency after it lost contact with Columbia. Columbia was scheduled to land in Florida at 9:16 a.m. Eastern time but NASA lost contact with the shuttle as it passed over the Dallas-Fort Worth area around 9:00 a.m., Eastern time. Dallas TV station WFAA is playing video of the shuttle passing overhead. The video appears to show "multiple trails" from the shuttle as it moves across the sky.
NASA has scrambled search and rescue teams in the Dallas region. It has warned people to be on the lookout for "debris" and says such debris could be "toxic." The shuttle was traveling at more than 12 thousand miles an hour at an altitude of more than 200 thousand miles an hour at last contact.
The space agency has not declared that the shuttle has broken up, exploded or crashed. NASA was very concerned about security for this mission as it was carrying Israel's first astronaut.