Anyone watching the Columbia (expected) landing coverage live?

I apologize if this was covered in one of the earlier Columbia threads, but here goes:

I had several late nights leading up to February 1, and I was going to stay in bed as long as I could. I ended up getting out of bed at 9:15 Eastern, and the Hammer-babe, who had already been up told me when I walked in “They’ve lost contact with the Space Shuttle.”

I knew that wasn’t good and was hit with the same stunned disbelief that we all felt on 9/11/01.

But here’s the question:

Was anyone watching the coverage leading to the loss of contact? I was wondering how it was being covered before anyone realized that something serious had happened.

Was up watching the news and caught the first reports but I didn’t have the NASA channel on or anything. Being in South Texas, we did look out to see if we could see the trail. Local channels were interviewing witnesses pretty quickly. Amazing just how many there were.

Yep, it was a pretty sick feeling.

We were watching TV when the news channels first broke in to tell us something had happened.

lieu, you put it well - it sure was a sick feeling.

It was being covered by the networks as a routine landing – which is to say, hardly being covered at all. However, the networks figured out something was happening pretty fast. There was a span of about 18 minutes between the last communication with Challenger and its scheduled landing time. I know there was coverage starting during that 18-minute window.

I was listening to NPR, when I heard them comment that NASA was reporting it had lost contact with the shuttle. Didn’t seem to be anything serious, then they said that the shuttle appeared to have broken up and dumped the rest of their schedule to cover the story.

Actually, I was on SD when it happened. I saw a thread title like “lost contact with Columbia? what?” or something.

However I’ll never forget watching the Challenger blow up live on tv. I was in college, watching in my dorm room.

I was lying in my bed groggily at 7AM watching Heidi Collins talking with Suzanne Malveaux and daydrea…well, nevermind. I was watching. The camera kept panning to a third guy who was on a cell phone in the studio and you could tell something big was happening. It took until 7:15 (Mtn) before they actually reported that something was wrong. The third guy (can’t remember his name) took over the anchoring pretty much from there and did a good job.

So I guess the answer is that at least one station (CNN) had some information, but it wasn’t until after the scheduled touchdown time that it was reported that something might have gone wrong. I am quite sure of this.