What About Columbia?




On Febuary 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon its re-entry into the earth's atmosphere, breaking apart over Texas and parts of Louisiana. All seven crewmembers were killed, and although Columbia's loss was considered a great tragedy for the United States and its manned space program, it is still overshadowed by Challenger's ill-fated launch in the collective memory of most Americans.

The final flight of Columbia was doomed from its outset. 82 seconds after it launched, a suitcase-size piece of insulation foam broke from Columbia's external tank, causing damage to panels on Columbia's left wing. Although the damage was suspected by NASA engineers on the ground during Columbia's 28th mission, NASA managers limited the investigation into their concerns, determining that little could be done to repair it in any case.

Flight STS-107 Crew on the Columbia:

Colonel Rick D. Husband, Commander (U.S. Air Force)

Commander William C. McCool, Pilot (U.S. Navy)

Lieutenant Michael P. Anderson, Payload Commander (U.S. Air Force)

Colonel Ilan Ramon, Payload Specialist (Israeli Air Force)

Aerospace Engineer Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist

Captain David M. Brown, Mission Specialist (U.S. Navy)

Captain Laurel Clark, Mission Specialist (U.S. Navy)

A massive search eventually turned up the remains of Columbia's crew and much of the shuttle debris, during which a helicopter crash killed two additional pilots who were assisting in the ground search effort - Debris Search Pilot Jules F. Mier Jr. and Debris Search Aviation Specialist Charles Krenek.

Calendar

Popular Articles

  1. Remarkable Women 2014: Game Changers
    This year's Remarkable Women know the rules of the game but aren't afraid to shake things up.
  2. What's it Like to be on "Naked and Afraid"?
    Laura Zerra of Belmont, New Hampshire, tells us about her experience on the Discovery Channel...
  3. Lyme Disease: Separating the Myths From the Medicine
    Lyme disease is here again and stirring controversy
  4. Infertility Treatments
    Childless, but not by choice — Treatment can help those who struggle with infertility.
  5. Learn the Basics of Paddleboard Yoga
    Paddleboard yoga is gaining popularity. Get in on this new aquatic trend with tips and advice...
  6. Four Drink Recipes Perfect for Summer
    The very word “cocktail” says “fancy.” But summer is all about casual. Try these four...
  7. Best of NH 2014 American & Seafood Restaurants
    In this section you'll discover where to find the best steakhouse, creamy and comforting mac and...