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
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