Shuttle Debris Search in East Texas Ends - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/30/03 - Nacogdoches

Shuttle Debris Search in East Texas Ends

The search for Space Shuttle Columbia debris in East Texas has officially ended after three months of hard work. 

The command center in Nacogdoches was closed Wednesday, but not before a special 'thank you' to the hundreds of volunteers who scoured East Texas forests.  People from all walks of life gave their time to locate debris over the past three months. 

An American flag was presented to NASA to be kept at Kennedy Space Center as a tribute to the seven astronauts who died.

NASA offical Brett Roulerson said, "None of that [debris] would have been found without you guys out there, day after day, in rain, snow, sleet, and snakes."

Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss said "I've had NASA officials ask me, 'We can't believe the effort you put forth. But, when you put all of this in perspective, it's not the Federal Government's program. It's not NASA's program, it's our program."

Also honored: two searchers killed back in March when their helicopter crashed in dense forest.

Thursday marks the third month since the shuttle disaster.

Morgan Palmer reporting.

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