Posted by Lydia on December 31st, 2008
NASA has released a 400 page document detailing the seven month investigation of the Columbia tragedy, lost on re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after a sixteen day mission.
It was determined that the fallen foam which hit the shuttle wing caused the fatal problem and that the astronauts were attempting to gain control of the situation when they were rendered unconscious (within 30 seconds) due to lost cabin pressure.
The investigation also evaluates safety procedures and recommends changes for the future Orion Project including better shoulder harness locking devises and improved helmets.
Columbia’s memorable crew members were: US Airforce Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson- Payload Commander, US Navy Captain Dr. David M. Brown- Mission Specialist, Dr. Kalpana Chawla – Mission Specialist, US Navy Commander Dr. Laurel Blair Salton Clark- Mission Specialist, US Air Force Colonel Rick D. Husband- Shuttle Commander, US Navy Commander William “Willy” McCool- Shuttle Pilot, Israeli Air Force Colonel Ilan Ramon- Payload Specialist. Read their bios here.