New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 7, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 2A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, August 7, 2005
Discovery headed home after undocking from space station
SPACE CENTER, I touston (AP) — With the most anxiety-ridden part of their flight still to come, shuttle Discovery and its crew of seven set off for home Saturday after leaving the international space station.
Monday’s planned predawn re-entry will be the first by a space shuttle since Columbia’s catastrophic descent 2 112 years ago.
The two space station residents wished the Discovery crew a safe landing.
Tt has really been a pleasure and, no, we are not glad to see you go. We would love to have you stay a little longer,” said station astronaut John Phillips. “I lave a good flight."
Shuttle commander Eileen Collins stressed it was not “a final farewell,” because she planned on seeing the two station men back on Earth once their expedition ends in two more months.
Once undocked, Discovery' looped around die space station for the first full photographic survey of the orbiting outpost since the last shuttle visit in late 2002, and then sped away into the blackness.
The departing astronauts reported they may have seen a piece of debris fly off die space station, but Mission Control assured them it was just a camera reflection.
Flight controllers, at least those who briefly ducked outdoors, got a triple treat. The Hubble Space Telescope soared over I louston before sunrise, followed by Discovery and then the space station, all three appearing as bright stars.
“We are going to be pretty darn happy to get to wheels stop and see this good crew step off Discovery,” flight director Paul I Iill said following the undocking.
Discovery spent nine days at the sta-don, one more than planned because of the uncertainty over the dining of the next shuttle visit, so the astronauts could leave beiiind surplus food, laptop computers and other supplies.
From staff, wire reports
MATAGORDA DEALING WITH LARGE NUMBER OF DEAD FISH — Millions of small fish have died in the waters of Matagorda Harbor, the Intracoastal Canal and Colorado River in what some in this small coastal community are calling one of the largest local fish kills in recent years.
Recent hot, windless weather has increased water temperatures and lowered the amount of oxygen water can hold, said John O’Connell, Matagorda County marine extension agent.
Sunlight helps microscopic algae in the water produce oxygen. Menhaden, a small bait fish, teed off of the algae and are drawn to the waters in large numbers, O’Connell said.
The demand for oxygen has exceeded production, and the fish have died and risen to the surface, said Willie Younger, a marine education specialist with the Texas A&M Marine Advisory Service.
The local harbor was covered with the dead menhaden, said Brandy Talasek, a resident of Matagorda, located about IOO miles southwest of I louston.
"It was so thick in the river you could almost walk across it," she said.
Fish kills are a natural process but rarely reach the magnitude seen this week, Younger said.
The dead fish are either eaten or decompose, which puts nutrients back into the water.
Water samples taken in the area Friday show it was too early to tell whether the event was over.
MARCHERS HONOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF VOTING RIGHTS ACT - Thousands of demonstrators streamed down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive chanting, singing and marching Saturday in support of extending the 40-year-old Voting Rights Act.
Organizers hope the “Keep the Vote Alive" march will pressure Congress and President Bush to extend key provisions of the landmark law, which expires in 2007.
“Forty years later, we’re still marching for the right to vote,” said U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who participated in the civil rights struggles that helped secure passage of the law in 1965. “Don’t give up, don’t give in. Keep the faith, keep your eyes on the prize.”
Activists from across the country joined Lewis, NAACP President Bruce Gordon and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who heads the Rainbow/PUSFl Coalition, at Saturday’s demonstration.
“The right to vote does not endanger, but we must protect it against discrimination,” Jackson said at a rally at the end of the march.
Civil rights groups fear conser
vatives will try to modify two key provisions of the law. One requires nine states, mostly in the South, to get federal approval before changing voting rules. The other requires election officials to provide voting material in the native language of immigrant voters who don’t speak English.
Activists also used the rally to protest Georgia’s recently passed voter identification law, which critics call the most restrictive in the country.
RUSSIAN RESCUERS STRUGGLE TO SAVE 7 SAILORS — Russian crews labored late Saturday to drag up a mini-submarine snarled in a seabed antenna deep in the Pacific, hoping to get the seven trapped crewmen close enough to the surface to escape before their air supply ran out.
American and British rescue teams equipped with robotic submersible vehicles were hurrying to the site. Authorities hoped those vessels could cut the mini-sub free if two Russian ships were unable to lift the heavy entanglement with a cable they looped under it.
Official estimates varied on how much oxygen remained in the trapped vessel some 625 feet below the surface IO miles off the Kamchatka Peninsula, but an admiral said the supply should last until the end of the rescue.
The Russian navy made contact with the crew late Saturday, and the Pacific Fleet commander, Adm. Viktor Fyodorov, said their condition was “satisfactory” despite temperatures of 41-45 degrees inside the vessel.
PASSENGER JET CRASHES IN SEA OFF SICILY - A
Tunisian passenger plane carrying 39 people crash-landed in the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday while trying to make an emergency landing in Sicily because of engine trouble, and 19 people were killed, officials said.
Palermo Prosecutor Piero Grasso told The Associated Press that 20 people survived and were being taken off rescue boats on stretchers at Palermo’s port.
Some survivors were clinging to the plane's wings when rescuers arrived, media reports said.
“Unfortunately, the toll has gone up,” Grasso said. “There are 19 dead and 20 survivors.”
Nine of tile survivors were reported in serious condition. At least three crewmembers survived.
Grasso said the ATR-72 was forced to make a water landing about eight miles off Sicily because of a “technical problem” that was being investigated.
“We can rule out terrorism,” Grasso said.
The plane left Bari, Italy on its way to Djerba, Tunisia. It was operated byTUninter, an affiliate of Tunisair, the national airline of Tunisia.
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