Comm Check...: The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia by Michael CabbageOn February 1, 2003, the unthinkable happened. The space shuttle Columbia disintegrated 37 miles above Texas, seven brave astronauts were killed and Americas space program, always an eyeblink from disaster, suffered its second catastrophic in-flight failure. Unlike the Challenger disaster 17 years earlier, Columbias destruction left the nation one failure away from the potential abandonment of human space exploration. Media coverage in the immediate aftermath focused on the possible cause of the disaster, and on the nations grief. But the full human story, and the shocking details of NASAs crucial mistakes, have never been told -- until now.Based on dozens of exclusive interviews, never-before-published documents and recordings of key meetings obtained by the authors, Comm Check takes the reader inside the conference rooms and offices where NASAs best and brightest managed the nations multi-billion-dollar shuttle program -- and where they failed to recognize the signs of an impending disaster. It is the story of a space program pushed to the brink of failure by relentless political pressure, shrinking budgets and flawed decision making. The independent investigation into the disaster uncovered why Columbia broke apart in the sky above Texas. Comm Check brings that story to life with the human drama behind the tragedy.
Michael Cabbage and William Harwood, two of Americas most respected space journalists, are veterans of all but a handful of NASAs 113 shuttle missions. Tapping a network of sources and bringing a combined three decades of experience to bear, the authors provide a rare glimpse into NASAs inner circles, chronicling the agencys most devastating failure andthe challenges that face NASA as it struggles to return America to space.
Report on Columbia Details How Astronauts Died
The astronauts on the shuttle Columbia tried to control the spacecraft as it broke up over Texas on its way back from a day mission on February 1, , but they had no chance of surviving, NASA says in a sobering report. But all of the astronauts lost consciousness within seconds as the spacecraft depressurized and spiraled out of control. We're talking about a very brief time in a crisis situation," NASA's deputy associate administrator, Wayne Hale, said at a press conference yesterday. The astronauts were wearing pressurized space suits , but apparently didn't have time to activate them. This event was lethal to the crew. So as the orbiter spun out of control, its cyclical rotation rocked them violently about , causing traumatic injuries. Top row, from left: David M.
Cause of death determination. Detail of thermal erosion on the upper bolts at the starboard x-link and skin. Columbia, we help to give meaning to their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families. It is for them, and See Section for a visual graphic of the orbiter coordinate frame.
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On February 1, , the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during atmospheric entry , killing all seven crew members. The disaster was the second fatal accident in the Space Shuttle program , after Challenger , which broke apart 73 seconds after liftoff and killed the seven-member crew in During the launch of STS , Columbia ' s 28th mission, a piece of foam insulation broke off from the Space Shuttle external tank and struck the left wing of the orbiter. A few previous shuttle launches had seen damage ranging from minor to nearly catastrophic from foam shedding,   but some engineers suspected that the damage to Columbia was more serious. NASA managers limited the investigation, reasoning that the crew could not have fixed the problem if it had been confirmed.
Seven astronauts slipped into unconsciousness within seconds and their bodies were whipped around in seats whose restraints failed as the space shuttle Columbia spun out of control and disintegrated in , according to a new report from NASA. Investigators state bluntly in the page report that better equipment in the crew cabin would not have saved the astronauts on the morning of Feb. In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, N. Wayne Hale, Jr. The craft went into a nauseating flat spin and the pilot, Cmdr.