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Words in the News
 
Monday 03 February 2003
 
Columbia Space Shuttle - the search begins
 
Columbia takes off All across Texas, in the US, people are searching for pieces of the Columbia Space Shuttle. The shuttle burned up while re-entering the earth's atmosphere on Saturday and any debris will be important in finding out why. This report from David Willis.
 
Listen Listen to the story
 
It's been likened to a crime scene with NASA scientists playing detective, gingerly searching for debris across a vast area. They are looking for key pieces of wreckage, some said to be as small as a pebble, others virtually the length of a car -- wreckage which could help solve the mystery of what happened to the space shuttle as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere.

Faced with having to search such a large area and then document each piece of wreckage and guard it from souvenir hunters, the local sheriff has appealed for more manpower particularly, officers on horseback or in off-road vehicles, so inhospitable is some of the terrain. As a further sign of the challenge confronting officials, a team of divers has now been called in to search a reservoir on the Texas-Louisiana border where a large piece of shuttle debris was seen slamming into the water.

David Willis, BBC
 
 
Listen Listen to the words
 
likened to
 
if you liken one thing to another, you say it is similar.
 
crime scene
 
the place where a crime happened
 
playing detective
 
taking on the role of detectives
 
gingerly
 
very carefully
 
debris
 
pieces left after something is destroyed
 
wreckage
 
larger pieces of debris
 
sheriff
 
In the US, an elected law officer
 
manpower
 
people to do the job
 
off-road vehicles
 
vehicles specially made for driving over difficult ground, eg jeeps, landrovers.
 
inhospitable terrain
 
countryside where it is very difficult to go.
 
 
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