Columbia‘s Mortal Blow?

The Israeli paper Ma’ariv is reporting an image that shows a series of two cracks in Columbia‘s left wing taken while the spacecraft was in orbit. (Link is in Hebrew)

If true, the damage to the wing may have been more severe than just a few missing tiles. A structural flaw in the wing could have well been a major cause of the shuttle’s breakup on reentry. More as the story develops…

UPDATE: InstaPundit has links to more information. It’s looking increasingly likely that this image is either a misidentification or an outright hoax.

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