01.02.

2003: The Tremendous Explosion of the Shuttle Columbia over Texas

2003: The Tremendous Explosion of the Shuttle Columbia over Texas
Photo Credit To http://weblog.sinteur.com/index.php/2008/12/31/nasa-faults-equipment-in-columbia-shuttle-disaster/

While the Shuttle was still in orbit, some engineers anticipated that there could be some damage on the shuttle, but NASA didn’t organize a thorough investigation under the excuse that even if a problem could be found, there was little they could do about it.

 

On this day American Space Shuttle Columbia exploded while returning from a mission and reentering Earth’s atmosphere. As all seven crew members died, making this one of the most catastrophic accidents in the history of Space research, similar to Challenger tragedy that happened 17 years earlier.

Although the Columbia accident happened during reentry, the cause, in fact, occurred during the launch. The great strain during the launch caused a piece of insulation foam the size of a travel bag to break off from the Space Shuttle’s external tank and to damage the left wing. While still in orbit, some engineers anticipated that there could be some damage on the Shuttle, but NASA didn’t organize a thorough investigation under the excuse that even if a problem could be found, there was little they could do about it.

When the Shuttle started to reenter the atmosphere, the damage and high temperature caused an explosion. Columbia disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana and its debris were scattered over the large area.

As a result of this accident, it was decided that all future Shuttles would be examined in orbit in case of any possible damage during launch. If irreparable damage occurred, there would always be another Shuttle prepared to retrieve the crew from space.

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