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"Columbia Countdown"

Traveling at about 16 times the speed of sound the space shuttle Columbia was on the way home to Kennedy Space Center when it broke apart above Texas. The crew of seven perished just 16 minutes from home. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board’s independent investigation into the loss of the shuttle and crew on February 1st, 2003 lasted seven months. Their findings pointed to a lightweight piece of foam that management at NASA could not believe was capable of damaging the shuttle’s thermal protection system.



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