Columbia Shuttle Mission
By: Hillary Bellah
On January 16th, 2003, at 10:39 a.m. EST Columbia lifted off, being the first shuttle mission of the year. It carried seven crew members on a marathon international scientific research flight. Landing was planned for February 1st after a 16-day mission, but Columbia and the crew were lost during reentry over East Texas at about 9:00 a.m.
Right Before Launch Photo
The picture above shows the seven crew members of the columbia shuttle mission on January 16th, 2003
The picture above shows Columbia lifting off on January 1st, 2003, at 10:39 a.m.
Photo credit: http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fd1jqu7g1y74ds1.cloudfront.net%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2009%2F09%2Fspace-shuttle-columbia-gpn-2000-000650-lw.jpg&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNHsSBe2k703oHllNbcW-Nh2Vo8fCw
The picture above is a picture of Columbia during re-entry when some thermal protection damage caused it to disintegrate during reentry on February 1st, 2003, at about 9:00 a.m.
How the Re-entry Disaster Happened
Columbia’s accident during re-entry was caused by some damage that happened during launch when a piece of foam the size of a small brief case broke off from the space shuttle external tank under aerodynamic (the position that reduces the drag from air moving past) forces of launch. The debris hit the top edge of the left wing, that damaged the shuttles thermal protection system.