Theft of Debris from the Space Shuttle Columbia: Criminal Penalties
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The breakup of the Space Shuttle Columbia strewed debris over parts of the West and the South, and recovery of this debris was considered vital to the investigation into the Columbias final moments of flight. Almost immediately after the breakup, however, press stories reported that members of the public were recovering pieces of Columbias wreckage and converting them to their personal use. Even though the organized search for Columbia debris is winding down, prosecutions continue for stealing debris and new ones could possibly arise in the future. This report briefly describes possible criminal penalties for conversion of government property, and does not address issues related to the personal property of the Columbias crew. This report will be updated as warranted.
- Sociology and Law
- Manned Spacecraft