Columbia Space Shuttle Essay

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The Columbia Shuttle was the oldest shuttle in the NASA fleet. On January 16, 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle’s 28th mission took place. Eight seconds into the launch a piece of foam insulation broke off from the propellant tank and hit the left wing of the shuttle. The cameras used to capture the launch could not focus accordingly on the shuttle while taking off; crash engineers could not pinpoint exactly where the damage took place. On February 1, 2003 Columbia Shuttle broke down while when reentering the atmosphere, killing seven astronauts on board. This became a huge story of disaster for the nation and generated an investigation. The investigation resulted shutting down the Space Shuttle Program for a short period of time and gave safety …show more content…
The suitcase-sized chunk of frozen foam impacted while the orbiter was traveling 1,870 mph creating a 6 to 10-inch hole in the shuttle’s heat shield. Upon reentry on February 1, ten minutes into coming in the atmosphere at 8:53 AM the shuttle was 231,000 ft above California’s coastline 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit gases entered Columbia’s left wing through the hole ( Staff). It was traveling at 23 times the speed the heat-resistant tiles were no longer on the shuttle because they were covering the left wing. Their last communication was heard from the crew at 8:59 AM (Daily Mail). It was at that time the flight directors noticed pressure readings had been lost on the orbiter’s landing gear. An investigation into the disintegration and the death of the 7 crew members later revealed NASA was aware of the problem but decided not to tell the crew. Their reasoning was, “Don’t you think it would be better for them to have a happy successful flight and die unexpectedly during entry than to stay in orbit knowing that there was nothing to be done, until the air ran out?”(Daily

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