NASA says all seven crew members aboard the U.S. space shuttle Columbia are dead after the spacecraft disintegrated over Texas -- minutes before it was scheduled to land in Florida today (Saturday).
U.S. space agency administrator Sean O'Keefe said it was a tragic day for NASA, the crew members' families, and the nation. He pledged to do everything possible to determine the cause of the disaster. He said there was no indication the mishap was caused by anything on the ground.
Columbia was returning to earth after a 16-day scientific mission. It carried six Americans and the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon.