Shuttle designer missing in Hurricane

by Chris Bergin

An Engineer who helped to design a crucial parts of the Space Transportation System has officially been listed as missing in the aftermath Hurricane Katrina.

51 year old Mike Noone – a British citizen who moved to the US – has been one of the 131 Britons listed missing, feared dead – along with his two of his children. They have not been seen since destruction struck their home on Lake Pontchartrain.

Mr Noone, an Oxfordshire-born scientist, worked on the External Tanks at the Michoud Assembly Facility.

Tom Noone, a molecular scientist and the brother of Mike, told The Independent: “The pictures show the area where Mike lived. You can even zoom down to his house itself. It looks fairly wrecked. But even though I can look through his roof on the internet, I can’t find out where he is. It’s very frustrating.

“The communications are in chaos. There are no phone lines or mobile networks. You don’t want to contemplate the worst, but it is always at the back of your mind. I just hope he and his family are sheltering in a hotel somewhere.”

Some 30 British consular staff are now manning a co-ordination centre in Houston, Texas. The American Red Cross has also set up a helpline for families to trace relatives.

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