Missouri’s two United States Senators have offered their thoughts and condolences on the space shuttle Columbia disaster. The shuttle disintegrated over Texas while headed to a landing at Cape Canaveral in Florida. Senator Christopher Bond, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee that funds NASA’s budget, says his prayers are with the families and friends of the seven astronauts who were killed. He promises investigators will be given whatever they need to conduct a probe of the tragedy. Senator Jim Talent says he is saddened by the events of the day and offers his prayers to the victims’ families and friends. He adds this tragedy should not be used by those who say the space program should be ended. Talent insists there are great benefits that come to us as a result of space exploration, adding the space program must go on.