Questions tagged [shuttle-columbia]

The space shuttle Orbiter Columbia (OV-102) was the first US shuttle to fly in space. It launched into space 28 times between April 1981 and January 2003. On its last mission STS-107 it was destroyed during entry.

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Why did Columbia disintegrate lower into the atmosphere, not during its peak heat phase?

Space Shuttle Columbia entered a period of peak heating at 46 mi (74 km) altitude. Before the contact got broken, the temperature on Columbia's wing leading-edges had sunk already (and the heat shield ...
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Why is Progress M-47 never considered with regard to hypothetical Columbia rescue missions? [duplicate]

Progress M-47 was launched to resupply the ISS only one day after the Columbia disaster. Hypothetical scenarios for a Columbia rescue mission following early detection of the tile damage always focus ...
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Could supplies have been launched to Columbia?

I've seen the discussions of whether NASA could imaginably have saved the crew of Columbia if they'd known about the damage to the wing in time. A lot comes down to the maximum time the crew could ...
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Could DOD earth observation (i.e. spy) satellites have photographed the Columbia Orbiter on STS-107?

I read in an (unknown) aircraft accident investigation book that NASA engineers wanted to use DOD earth observation satellites to check for damage on the Columbia Orbiter during STS-107. This did not ...
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Why was the risk of loss of STS-1 (Columbia) estimated to be so high?

There's this tweet from Wayne Hale, former NASA Flight Director Several media people have asked me about how risky STS-1 was. There were a lot of uninformed guesses circulating in 1981. Thirty ...
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Is there such thing as plasma (from reentry) creating lift?

The following was claimed on the aviation site: In 1981, after years of development and testing, Columbia made its maiden voyage into orbit. Unexpectedly, on re-entry, the nose pitched up much higher ...
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During the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster of 2003, Why Did The Flight Director Say, “Lock the doors.”?

Why does the NASA Flight Director say, "Lock the doors.", when realizing that disaster had struck for Space Shuttle Columbia, back in 2003? Does he mean lock the doors on the space shuttle that's ...
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Why did Columbia’s planned flight manifest have a five-year gap with absolutely nothing in it between 2004 and 2009?

Looking at the pre-loss-of-OV-102 plans for then-future shuttle flights (at least according to the document found and scanned by @OrganicMarble and posted as part of this answer, which was drawn up [...
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Was Columbia’s CVR ever found?

Each of the space shuttles carried a cockpit voice recorder (CVR), similar to those required on commercial airliners, which recorded the crew’s conversations to aid in accident reconstruction should a ...
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Why did Columbia never visit the ISS? [duplicate]

According to Wikipedia, there were sixteen Space Shuttle missions to the ISS before the loss of Columbia; of these, six each were by Endeavour and Atlantis, four by Discovery, and none at all by ...
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What, if any, abort options would the crew of Columbia had on reentry during STS-107, assuming they became aware of the damage during that phase? [duplicate]

According to Wikipedia, the earliest time at which there was a known issue with Columbia's reentry was at 08:53:46, when "Various people on the ground saw signs of debris being shed". Approximately 7 ...
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Were ejection seats on the Space Shuttle a practical safety system?

The first four STS missions were flown by Columbia with two pilots and had ejection seats as an option. These seats were eventually disabled (by STS 5) and removed (by STS-61-C). They could only be ...
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Any imagery from Shuttle Columbia's SILTS pod on the internet?

(Inspired by this question) One of the distinguishing features of Shuttle Columbia was its Shuttle Infrared Leeside Temperature Sensing (SILTS) pod. This was an experiment that took infrared imagery ...
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What would NASA have done if they knew Columbia was catastrophically damaged?

When the Columbia Shuttle broke apart in 2003, it was known after the launch that a piece of foam had fallen and hit the Shuttle. NASA apparently chose not to investigate it as well as they could have....
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Was the possibility of damage to the SS Columbia made public before it reentered on Feb 1, 2003?

When I reflect upon the unfortunate circumstance of STS-107 in 2003, I seem to have memories of hearing reports of the foam striking the underside of the vehicle before we even learned of the reentry ...
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What was the design and/or results of the fish experiement onboard Space Shuttle Columbia disaster mission STS-107?

Highlights from NASA's webpage lists studies done during the Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-107 including student experiments, one of them including fish. What did the student fish experiment ...
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About how far was debris scattered from the Columbia incident?

Space Shuttle Columbia exploded during reentry due to missing heat shield tiles. When this happened, the shuttle would have had a great amount of speed, which would imply debris was strewn far down ...