This recent question regarding the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster mentions the possibility that the crew could have bailed out if the orbiter could have successfully descended to 25,000 feet before it broke up.
Was this indeed something that was possible? I do seem to recall hearing that some of the seats were ejection seats early on in the Space Shuttle program, but that not all of them were and that they were subsequently removed from the design. Was there some other way for the crew to (survivably) bail out in place at the time of the Columbia disaster? Did the crew even have personal parachutes for such a situation and a survivable method of egress in flight?