Fears for space shuttle

THERE are fears that a Nasa space shuttle has broken up on re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.Nasa lost communication with space shuttle Columbia as the ship soared overTexas several minutes before landing this morning.

THERE are fears that a Nasa space shuttle has broken up on re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.

Nasa lost communication with space shuttle Columbia as the ship soared over Texas several minutes before landing this morning.

It was not immediately clear if there was a problem with the shuttle.

Columbia was aiming for a touch down at 1416 GMT. It was at an altitude of 200,700ft travelling at 12,500 mph (20,113 kph) when mission control lost contact.


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There was no further communication and no further tracking data.

In 42 years of human space flight, Nasa has never lost a space crew during landing or the ride back to orbit. In 1986, space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after lift-off.

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The Shuttle had its first Israeli pilot on this mission. There were two female and five male astronauts on board. The Columbia was the oldest of the Shuttle fleet.

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