Columbia‘s Final Moments

Newsday has a chilling and sobering article on the timeline of the space shuttle Columbia‘s final few moments. The shuttle was mortally wounded on takeoff, and when it came time for the shuttle to enter Earth’s atmosphere that wound left a path of destruction that led to the disintegration of the shuttle. It’s a difficult piece to read, but it gives insight into how we can prevent future disasters like the ones that claimed the lives of Columbia‘s seven astronauts.

One thought on “Columbia‘s Final Moments

  1. If you check the history of the first Columbia mission–itself the first shuttle mission–you’ll see that the flight of Young and Crippen was hampered by the feared loss of a large amount of insulation during takeoff. As it turned out, most of the debris seen in films of the launch came from the white paint applied to the fuel tank (the last time such was done–now the external tank remains orange), but there was a real fear that Columbia would break up upon re-entry.

    Twenty years later, the old Columbia did what the young Columbia did not, and reminded all of us how dangerous it is for those men and women who risk their lives in the spirit of discovery.

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