This Day in History Feb. 1, 2003 – Second Shuttle Lost

Posted February 1, 2012 by Johnny2x in Science

I’m not going to post the video of Columbia disintegrating. Instead I am posting the video of the shuttle lift-off, it is more important. Our journey into space will go on.

Report by Wired.com

2003: Columbia disintegrates as it re-enters the atmosphere, killing the seven astronauts on board and dealing a near-fatal blow to the already troubled space shuttle program. As it is, it will be more than two years before another shuttle is launched.

Damage to the orbiter’s thermal protection system, which occurred at launch when foam insulation detached from the main propellant tank and struck the left wing, was immediately suspected and quickly confirmed as the cause of the accident. But as with the Challenger catastrophe in 1986, NASA itself came in for a great deal of criticism.

In this case, ground control managers were faulted for limiting an onboard investigation of the damage, even though engineers had expressed concerns as the mission progressed. NASA’s rationale — that little could be done to repair the damage regardless of what was found — didn’t fly with the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, which concluded that, although risky, the shuttle Atlantis could have been dispatched to retrieve the crew.

President Bush addressed the nation on the afternoon of Feb. 1: “This day has brought terrible news and great sadness to the country…. The Columbia is lost; there are no survivors. The cause in which they died will continue. Our journey into space will go on.”

It did, but there was a break. The shuttle program was suspended (the next shuttle flight did not take place until July 2005) and the Russians took over the task of ferrying crews and supplies to the International Space Station.

The Columbia was the oldest shuttle in the fleet, excluding the prototype Enterprise, and was completing its 28th mission at the time of the accident.

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Johnny2x

John created the HowsYourRobot.com just because he cares about each and everyone of you. He likes science, technology, movies, and music. He also likes long walks in the park but only at night and in most dangerous park he can find AND he discovered the internet while playing in his back yard as a child. Some of this is true and some of it is not.

 
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