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THE WORST PART OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA DISASTER ISN'T WHAT YOU THINK

THE WORST PART OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA DISASTER ISN'T WHAT YOU THINK

Space Shuttle Columbia
February 1, 2003, began as a normal Saturday morning for many Americans, until news began to filter in that a space shuttle had been lost. Before long, TV screens were filled with images of burning debris streaking through the sky, and reporters began piecing the story together. Heat-resistant tiles on the Space Shuttle Columbia's left wing had been damaged, leading to the destruction of the spacecraft, as well as the deaths of seven astronauts — Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, Ilan Ramon, and David Brown — as Columbia reentered Earth's atmosphere.

It was a disaster on par with the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger 17 years before, and the fiery disintegration of Columbia ultimately led to the retirement of NASA's shuttle fleet. The loss of life and the crippling of the United States' space exploration capabilities are terrible enough, but as is all too often the case, tragedies are multifaceted. As you'll soon find out, the worst part of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster might not be what you think

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