Police in Texas have found a round object, about 4 feet in diameter, that belonged to Space Shuttle Columbia, which broke into pieces over the Texas skies on February 1, 2003.
NASA spokeswomen Lisa Malone said NASA calls the object a PRSD (power reactant storage and distribution), which provided power and water for the shuttle, reported CNN.
The object was found in a lake in the city of Nacogdoches, which is 160 miles from Houston. Previously buried in the lake, the object was revealed in plain sight due to a drought.
“Lake Nacogdoches is at an approximately nine-foot low. There has been an unusually large area of the lake which is normally underwater which has been exposed,” said Greg Sowell, a police sergeant in Sowell.
The Space Shuttle Columbia accident occurred upon the re-entry of the shuttle to the earth’s atmosphere near the conclusion of its mission.
The accident was caused by damages sustained by the shuttle’s thermal protection system during takeoff. It shattered Shuttle Columbia to more than 2,000 pieces, which dispersed over a large area in Texas and even over parts of Louisiana and Arkansas.
Nacogdoches, population 33,000, happened to be one of the largest recipients of Shuttle Columbia debris immediately after the explosion. In subsequent years, previously unrecovered debris have surfaced from time to time.