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On This Day… Nasa’s Second Fatal Accident!

Written by: George Chittenden : 01 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 1st February, back in 2003 when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entering Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven crew members. An investigation concluded that a large piece of foam had fallen from the shuttle's external tank and breached the spacecraft’s wing.

This problem with foam had actually been known for years. NASA was put under intense scrutiny by Congress and the media for allowing the situation to happen and suspended space shuttle flights for more than two years as they investigated the disaster.

It wasn’t the first tragedy for NASA. In 1986 the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart and killed the seven crew shortly after lift-off. Unfortunately, many schools had set up televisions for children to watch due to the involvement of a teacher. Christa MacAuliffe, a teacher from New Hampshire was onboard as part of a new Teacher in Space project.

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