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PM responds to Columbia disaster

PM responds to Columbia disaster

Prime Minister Helen Clark has expressed her deep sympathy at the tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia, which broke up today over the United States killing all seven on board.

Helen Clark said the immediate thoughts of New Zealanders would be with the astronauts’ families and the people of the United States.

“Scientific missions with winged spaceships have captivated people around the world during the past two decades,” Helen Clark said.

“That makes this disaster all the more shocking.

“People from all walks of life have marvelled at the technological advances that have made voyages on reusable spacecraft possible.

“It is a very sad day for science, for the American people, and also for the people of Israel and India, as the crew included the first Israeli astronaut to join a shuttle mission, and an Indian-born American citizen.

“On behalf of New Zealand I am sending a letter of condolence to the President of the United States expressing our deep sympathy at this appalling loss,” Helen Clark said.

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