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.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. 2015 It List
    Our 2015 It List is the who’s who of New Hampshire. Meet 14 influential Granite Staters who...
  2. Miracle on Beech Street
    At the Manchester Police Athletic League, officers change the lives of local youth for the better.
  3. 28 Ways to Have Fun This Winter
    This year, why not resolve to make the best of the snow and ice? Here are 28 things to do...
  4. Challenge Yourself with Snowshoe Racing
    Put on your snowshoes and run! If you enjoy regular races, you just might like the added...
  5. Holiday Shopping in Concord
    Concord’s Main Street is back and beautiful. The recent downtown renovation has made for a...
  6. Understanding and Alleviating Dry Eye
    The syndrome puts comfort and eye health at risk.
  7. Alexander Heffner Host of “The Open Mind”
    "The Open Mind,” which turns 60 this year, got a new lease on life when Alexander Heffner,...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags