Tragedy in space – Feb. 6. – Photographer Tricia Wilcox, a Malibu resident, was in the desert near Edwards Air Force Base taking photos of the sunrise at approximately 6:57 a.m. on Feb. 1 when she noticed the eastern skies were filled with strange trails that might have been vapor and/or smoke trails from the space shuttle as it was reentering the earth’s atmosphere during its fateful destruction.


Wilcox did not know at the time of the disaster that took place that morning when the Columbia space shuttle disintegrated, killing all seven of the astronauts on board. She said she learned of it when she stopped at a mini-mart.

Later that evening, Wilcox’s husband e-mailed several of the photos she took to NASA. The agency called and asked them to send more photos. It was reported later in the Los Angeles Times that NASA had asked California law enforcement agencies statewide to be on alert for any debris from the space shuttle that may have fallen in California.

Wilcox went to the desert Feb. 1 intending to shoot photos of a horseshow.

Photo by Tricia Wilcox/ Wilcox Photography