February 2, 2005 |
Family members of the astronauts who died aboard the space shuttle Columbia watched as officials dedicated a granite memorial in Houston on the second anniversary of the accident that killed the seven-member crew. The monument consists of a concrete pedestal topped with a granite slab and a black plaque honoring the men and women "who made the supreme sacrifice to advance humankind."
August 14, 2004 |
The foam that struck the space shuttle Columbia soon after liftoff was improperly applied to the shuttle's external fuel tank, NASA said Friday. The official investigation into the accident, conducted by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, left the matter open, since none of the foam or the fuel tank could be recovered for study.
May 21, 2004 |
The first pieces of debris from the space shuttle Columbia have been loaned to private-sector researchers under a plan to make the orbiter available for study, NASA said. Unlike the remains of its sister shuttle Challenger, which was destroyed in a launch accident in 1986 and later buried in an abandoned missile silo, NASA decided to catalog each of the thousands of pieces of Columbia recovered from Texas and Louisiana and make them available for researchers who applied for access.
February 21, 2004 |
A full year after the Columbia tragedy, NASA has finally determined how and why the large piece of foam insulation that doomed the space shuttle broke off from the fuel tank at liftoff. NASA's top spaceflight official, Bill Readdy, said that through extensive testing, the agency has learned that air liquefied by the super-cold fuel in the tank almost certainly seeped into a crack or void in the foam, or collected around bolts and nuts beneath the foam.
February 3, 2004 |
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe dedicated a memorial to the space shuttle Columbia's astronauts at Arlington National Cemetery, eulogizing them as "pilots, engineers and scientists all motivated by a fire within." The dedication took place a year and a day after the craft disintegrated on its return to Earth, claiming the lives of the crew -- Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon.
January 31, 2004 |
Jon Clark, an Army brat as a boy, an ambitious flight surgeon as a man, has long preferred the cold facts -- "the stats," as he calls them -- to messy emotions. But at home, he realizes now, he was mired in an unspoken competition for his son's love. And, like many fathers, he was losing. "We were buddies and everything," he said. "But I was on the sidelines. He just worshipped his mom." Then, just like that, she was gone.