The Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster and the East Texas Recovery Efforts

Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Longview Community Center


Where were you on February 1, 2003 at 7:59 am? That is the moment when East Texas was rocked with the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia upon re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.

Gary Borders was the editor and publisher of The Daily Sentinel in Nacogdoches at the time, and his team covered the disaster and recovery efforts on the ground for Cox Newspapers. Cox nominated The Daily Sentinel's news team for a Pulitzer Prize in 2004. Mr. Borders also wrote a first-person piece for Texas Monthly.

Ronald Lee of NASA was deployed to three Columbia recovery sites: Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Corsicana in Navarro County, and Nacogdoches. Today, Mr. Lee serves as Chief of the Office of Emergency Management for NASA.

On Thursday evening, July 18, at the Longview Community Center, Gary Borders will discuss his role in the news coverage of the Columbia disaster. He will introduce Ronald Lee, who will inform the audience about the coordinated efforts of East Texans and NASA to recover the debris. The goal of NASA was to examine the debris in order to assess what went wrong and to prevent future shuttle disasters.

  • Event Sponsor: Preservation Longview
  • Doors open with display: 5:00 pm
  • Speakers: 6:00 pm
  • Introduction: Gary Borders
  • Speaker: Ronald Lee of NASA
  • Admission: $20 at the door

Location information

Longview Community Center

Longview 75606
500 East Whaley