Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy

Ten years ago, one of the worst space accidents of all time took the lives of seven astronauts when the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed. The 10th anniversary of the Columbia accident is Friday, Feb. 1, yet the memories for many are still fresh. People all over the world, including those heavily involved in the space program, and some who’d never given it a passing thought, remember where they were when they heard about the disaster.

On Feb. 1, 2003, the shuttle Columbia  was returning to Earth after a successful 16-day trip to orbit, where the crew conducted more than 80 science experiments ranging from biology to fluid physics. However, the seemingly healthy orbiter had suffered critical damage during its launch, when foam from the fuel tank’s insulation fell off and hit Columbia’s wing, tearing a hole in it that later analysis suggested might have been as large as a dinner plate….

Image credit: NASA

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