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Houston Matters

Full Show: Lessons From The Columbia Disaster, And Our Unpredictable Texas Weather (Jan. 31, 2018)

On Wednesday’s Houston Matters: We look back at the space shuttle Columbia disaster, 15 years later. We discuss the latest political stories with an eye for how they might affect Houston. State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon discusses the roller coaster that is Texas weather. And we learn about Houston Grand Opera’s production of Elektra.

On Wednesday’s Houston Matters: Mike Leinbach is the former NASA space shuttle launch director who oversaw the launch of Columbia space shuttle 15 years ago. Leinback is in Houston a day ahead of the 15th anniversary of the Columbia shuttle disaster. He and space historian Jonathan Ward are at the Johnson Space Center to talk about their new book Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew. We talk with the authors about what happened, how Texas played a key role in search-and-recovery efforts, and how the disaster changed the space program.

Also this hour: From Pres. Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, to a Texas Republican committee censuring House Speaker Joe Straus, our local experts discuss the latest political stories with an eye for how it all might affect Houston and Texas.

Then: Houston just experienced a rare bout of freezing weather that more or less shut the city down for two days. Is this some strange, freak occurrence — or is it less surprising than we think? We often hear the old saying, “If you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait five minutes.” But is that really that unique to us? State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon gets us some answers and some perspective.

And we learn about Houston Grand Opera’s production of the Richard Strauss opera Elektra.

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