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Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster Explained (Infographic)  by Karl Tate -  On Feb. 1, 2003, Columbia  was returning to Earth after a successful 16-day trip to orbit, where the crew conducted > 80 science experiments ranging from biology to fluid physics. However, the seemingly healthy orbiter had suffered critical damage during its launch, when foam from the fuel tank's insulation fell off & hit Columbia's left wing, tearing a hole in it that might have been as large as a dinner plate.

Columbia Accident Report: Read an overview of the investigation on Columbia mission accident, according to which the cause of the shuttle's collapse during descent roots to malfunction of the rocket system during launch and ascent.

Challenger Disaster 30 Years Ago Shocked the World, Changed NASA

Thirty years ago today, NASA suffered a spaceflight tragedy that stunned the world and changed the agency forever.

Dual Space Shuttles - very rare sight to see two shuttles on launch pads at one time but it happened

Atlantis and Columbia in a space shuttle traffic jam. In 1990 STS 35 (Atlantis) was heading to the launchpad. STS 38 (Columbia) was rolled back to the vehicle assembly building for repairs to liquid hydrogen lines.

Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.

Columbia Memorial ~ Arlington National Cemetery ~ Arlington ~ Virginia ~ A memorial to the Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts who lost their lives in the tragic accident on February

Space Shuttle Challenger ' s smoke plume after its in-flight breakup ... What do you think of this guys?

January 1986 - Space Shuttle Challenger disaster - leading to the deaths of its seven crew members

the five shuttles used in the space shuttle program, the last used being the atlantis, and the challenger and columbia were both destroyed

Photo by NASA. Launches of Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavour Space Shuttles.

Space Shuttle Challenger disaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

challenger 17 texas a&m logo

Debris from the space shuttle Challenger is laid out on a giant grid at the Kennedy Space Center in this March 1986 NASA photo. NASA hoped to piece together the remains of the space vehicle. The photograph was part of the testimony given to the Presidential Commission on the space shuttle Challenger accident. (NASA)  via The Boston Globe

Challenger disaster: remembered

Columbia Launches on STS-107 Mission - Space shuttle Columbia launches on mission STS-107, January 16, 2003.

Remembering Space Shuttle Columbia On Feb. shuttle Columbia broke up during reentry over Texas. As we remember the astronauts Rick Husband, Willie McCool, Michael Anderson, Kalpana.

Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion - Crew cabin detached in one piece

Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion - Crew cabin detached in one piece as my grade class in Florida saw it in the sky.

On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated just 16 minutes before it was due to land. All 7 astronauts aboard perished. Could this tragic incident have been avoided?

This image of the shuttle Columbia crew in orbit was recovered from wreckage inside an undeveloped film canister. From left (bottom row): Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; and Ilan Ramon

Space Shuttle. Cosmic. Cosmic, outer space and astro pictures Pixodium - Selected pictures blog organized in thematic feeds. All images on this website are found in internet and presented with reference link to the source..

Here the space shuttle Columbia launches on its mission from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad on Oct.

An overall view of the shuttle flight control room (WFCR) in Houston%u2019s Mission Control Center (MCC) at the Johnson Space Center (JSC). At the time this photo was taken, flight controllers had just lost contact with the Space Shuttle Columbia.

An overall view of the shuttle flight control room (WFCR) in Houston's Mission Control Center (MCC) at the Johnson Space Center (JSC). At the time this photo was taken, flight controllers had just lost contact with the Space Shuttle Columbia.

The explosion of the "Challenger" space shuttle had everyone devastated, to say the least.

On January the NASA shuttle orbiter mission and the tenth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members, which consisted of a elementary school teacher.

April 4, 1983 the first flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-099).

pace Shuttle Challenger maiden flight was on April and it completed nine missions before breaking apart 73 seconds after the launch of its tenth mission, on January resulting in the death of all seven crew members.