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America We Stand Together

The United States of American

Are prayers go out to those families who lost love ones in the Columbia Space Shuttle Tragedy

February 1, 2003
shortly before 7 am (mountain standard time)

 Columbias Crew

David Brown - Mission Specialist | Rick Husband - Commander | Laurel Clark - Mission Specialist |
Kalpana Chawla - Mission Specialist
| Michael Anderson - Payload Specialist |
William McCool - Pilot
| Ilan Ramon - Payload Specialist

What Happened?

The general thought was that just after launch of the space shuttle Columbia a piece of debris from the rocket booster broke away. This material fell from off the top part of the rocket booster. Than this material fell towards the spaceship and may have hit the shuttles left wing. It is believed that maybe some tiles were damaged or missing after this incident.

During the mission in outer space there were no inspection done to the out side of the ship. NASA told media today that even if a tile or two were damaged that there would be no way for the astronauts to fix them. These tiles are designed to reflect heat away from the shuttle when it is reentering the earths atmosphere.

The media were told that during reentry the Columbia Shuttle, was controlled by an on board computer. The computers software controls the mechanics of the shuttle and is designed to fly the best reentry for the shuttle. NASA felt that this software under present circumstances did the job that it had been designed to do.

Sensors in the left wheel well had indicated a 60 degree heat increase within a five minute period. The increase was believed to be coming from stress on the left side of the shuttle. The shuttle was on auto pilot and driven by software designed to make any compensation in order to fly the craft the best way for a safe reentry. NASA told media that there were no back up plan for reentry. The shuttle at that time was already flying at the best possible flight path and that there were no improvements that could be made. The shuttle had roughly fifteen minutes left before landing. Already with in the earths atmosphere an amateur photographer recorded pictures with a camcorder of the shuttle during its decent.

While over Texas the Columbia Shuttle tragically blow - up. The video image showed streams of exhaust and debris traveling towards the earths ground. Debris were scattered over 33 countries. .A warning was issued for everyone not to touch any of what might be from the shuttle and that had landed on the ground.

Some did not listen to this warning and exercised there in sensitivity by trying to sell debris from the Columbia space shuttle on e - bay. However it was brought up to the appropriate authority and e- bay pulled it from its site. NASA told media that anyone caught possessing parts from Columbia would be charged appropriately, and that the Shuttle was still their property. Warnings are still in effect, that any debris that are from the shuttle is to be reported to the police and not touched by unauthorized personnel. The debris is highly radioactive and dangerous to bare human skin.

The United States and countries around the world have been in morning since the announcement. The news information has been non - stop and highly informative. NASA has allowed the media to keep the world informed. We are saddened by the lost of those on board of the shuttle Columbia. With news coverage those following the events can mourn along side of the families who lost loved ones.

Space Shuttle History

Columbia 1981 to 1903 Flown 28 missions

Challenger 1983 to 1986 Flown 10 missions

Discovery 1984 to Present Flown 30 missions

Atlantis 1985 to Present Flown 26 missions

Endeavour 1992 to Present Flown 19 missions

Canadian Astronauts
   Astronaut  Year  Shuttle
 1  Marc Garneau 1984  Challenger
 2  Roberta Bondar 1992 Discovery
 3  Steve MacLean 1992 Columbia
 4  Chris Hadfield 1995 Atlantis
 5  Garneau 1996 Endeavour
 6  Robert Thirsk 1996  Columbia
 7  Bjarni Tryggvason 1997  Discovery
 8  Dave Williams 1998  Columbia
 9  Julie Payette 1999  Discovery
 10  Garneau 2000  Endeavour
 11  Chris Hadfield 2001  Endeavour
 12  Steve MacLean 2003  On Hold
 13  Dave Williams 2003  On Hold


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