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It is in the nation's interest to replace the shuttle as soon as possible," the report stated.NASA's space shuttle Columbia was destroyed during re-entry on Feb.
Shortly afterward, NASA declared a space shuttle "contingency" and sent search and rescue teams to the suspected debris sites in Texas and later, Louisiana.
Later that day, NASA declared the astronauts lost."This is indeed a tragic day for the NASA family, for the families of the astronauts who flew on STS-107, and likewise is tragic for the nation," stated NASA's administrator at the time, Sean O'Keefe.
Columbia was the first space shuttle to fly in space; its first flight took place in April 1981, and it successfully completed 27 missions before the disaster.
On its 28th flight, Columbia, on mission STS-107, left Earth for the last time on Jan. At the time, the shuttle program was focused on building the International Space Station.
1, 2003, as it passed by the Starfire Optical Range, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The Capcom, or spacecraft communicator, called up to Columbia to discuss the tire pressure readings.
Case Study 12 The Challenger And Columbia Shuttle Disasters
At a.m., Husband called back from Columbia: "Roger," followed by a word that was cut off in mid-sentence.
1, 2003, in a tragic disaster that killed the shuttle's seven-astronaut crew.
See how the Columbia shuttle accident occurred in this infographic.
It was later found that a hole on the left wing allowed atmospheric gases to bleed into the shuttle as it went through its fiery re-entry, leading to the loss of the sensors and eventually, Columbia itself.
Pieces of Columbia space shuttle debris are seen stored in a hangar at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida during accident investigation in 2003. 1, 2003 shuttle disaster, which killed seven astronauts, were recovered.