CNN is reporting that NASA lost contact with the space shuttle Columbia, right before it was supposed to land.
More as it happens.
update: FOX News is showing video of the shuttle breaking up.
NASA is asking that people in the Dallas area be on the lookout for debris.
1429 GMT (9:29 a.m. EST)
Search and rescue forces are now being deployed, NASA says.
I hope it really is a rescue mission.
Apparently it will not be a rescue mission at all. There's no point in updating this constantly, as everyone is probably watching tv. But I will post the poem that Dean just sent me and leave it at that.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of- wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never Lark, or even Eagle flew -
And while with silent lifting mind, I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
- John Gillespie Magee, Jr, 1922-1944