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Columbia crew fought to save shuttle says report

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Columbia crew fought to save shuttle says report


The crew of the space shuttle Columbia fought desperately to regain control of the doomed craft as it broke apart. That is one of the conclusions of a NASA report into the disaster that claimed the lives of seven astronauts in February 2003.

It said the crew had very little to time to react. A NASA spokesman said: “It was not a survivable accident. We all know that. But obviously you can learn from what happened during the last minutes or last seconds of the Columbia accident during re-entry to help the design of future spacecraft.” Columbia broke apart about 20 km over Texas as it headed for landing at the Kennedy Space Center. The cause has been traced to a hole in one wing. It had been damaged by a piece of falling foam insulation during the launch 16 days earlier. NASA plans to stop using space shuttles after the completion of the International Space Station in 2010.

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