Experts probe space shuttle disaster
NASA investigators were today due to continue their search to find the reason for the Columbia tragedy.They were believed to be focussing their attention on the craft's left wing which was damaged when it was hit by a piece of insulating foam which fell off the external fuel tank during launch on January 16.
NASA investigators were today due to continue their search to find the reason for the Columbia tragedy.
They were believed to be focussing their attention on the craft's left wing which was damaged when it was hit by a piece of insulating foam which fell off the external fuel tank during launch on January 16.
Terrorism has been discounted because Columbia was flying too high and too fast to be shot down – and it would have been impossible to plant a time-bomb on board.
Human error by the crew has also been discounted as a cause of the tragedy.
Debris, including human remains, has been found across a wide area of northern Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.
The loss of the space shuttle, and the likely suspension of the entire programme, causes a major problem for the work to create the International Space Station currently taking shape in orbit.
- 1 Face masks to be compulsory in shops and public transport, PM announces
- 2 Three youngsters try to kick down Ipswich family's door
- 3 Van driver jailed after A12 crash left motorist with life-changing injuries
- 4 European store wants to sell alcohol at old Co-op store in Ipswich
- 5 More than 20 drivers caught at speeds of 100mph on A14 within an hour
- 6 Could American fast food chain Wendy's open a Suffolk restaurant next year?
- 7 Ipswich man charged with string of motoring offences
- 8 Homes with 'stunning' coastal views by Felixstowe golf club up for sale
- 9 Pensioner who was racially abusive has jail sentence cut
- 10 Online shoppers head to Ipswich for big brands like Primark
There are three astronauts on board there who are expecting to remain there for several months before being replaced by a new crew flown up on a space shuttle.
However they do have a Russian Soyuz "lifeboat" attached to the station which they can use to return to earth if no relief crew can be sent.
That would put the whole future of the space station, being built by 20 nations, in doubt as it needs astronauts to carry out routine maintenance.