Space Shuttle Columbia disaster

The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003, when, shortly before it was scheduled to conclude its 28th mission, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. This resulting in the death of all seven crew members. The CAIB determined that a rescue mission, though risky, might have been possible provided NASA management had taken action soon enough. The loss of Columbia was a result of damage sustained during launch when a piece of foam insulation the size of a small briefcase broke off from the Space Shuttle external tank under the aerodynamic forces of launch. The debris struck the edge of the left wing and damaging the Shuttle’s thermal protection system. Without the tps the ship burned up instantly.