15 years ago there was the disaster of the space Shuttle “Columbia»

15 years ago there was the disaster of the space Shuttle “Columbia»

15 years ago, disaster struck space Shuttle Columbia — it literally fell apart, and all crew members were killed.


About the causes of the disaster and its consequences, says, “Газета.Ru”.

1 Feb 2003 crashed space Shuttle “Columbia”. On Board were seven crew members, they all died. The cause of the disaster was the destruction of the outer heat shield layer on the left wing of the plane Shuttle.

The first flight of the space Shuttle on April 12, 1981, in the framework of NASA Space Transportation System for cargo delivery into orbit. The team was led by astronaut John young, for whom this space flight was the fifth.

The Shuttle only went 28 times. He spent in space 300,74 of the day, made during this time, 4808 revolutions around the Earth and flew a total of 201 454 702 km. aboard the Shuttle for experiments were carried out with x-ray and ultraviolet telescopes, microgravity research, launch laser geodynamic satellite, medical research and many other experiences.

In the last flight of the Shuttle went 16 January 2003. On the morning of 1 February he had to return to Earth.

Shuttle damage received during launch. 82 seconds after launch from the left fairing mounting of the Shuttle broke off a piece of insulation that kicked at the panels of the left wing of Columbia. Such incidents have occurred, and NASA experts have recognized the impacts of the fragments of insulating material do not pose a threat to the operation.

February 1 at 8:15 EST (us Eastern time) “Columbia” began the descent to the Ground. 8:44 the Shuttle entered the dense layers of the atmosphere. The edge of the damaged wing started to overheat. A few minutes later the Shuttle entered the stage of the descent, during which the ship’s hull had to suffer the most severe heat load.

8:53 from the wing started to fall off pieces of skin.

After a few seconds the operator of the mechanical systems and life support Jeff Kling troubleshoot four sensors of the hydraulic system in the left wing of the plane. A few minutes later, denied the pressure sensors in the left landing gear.

At 8:59 on Board the “Columbia” was sent the last message, obryvalin in mid-sentence: “Roger, uh, bu…”. This link with the Shuttle was lost.

in the MCC communications officer assured the flight Manager that the connection failure was expected and is related to the fact that the tail of the Shuttle shielded the antenna of a communications satellite. But at 9:00 “DC” has already collapsed into numerous fragments.

And five minutes later over the Northern part of Texas, the residents heard the explosion and noticed smoke in the sky.

During the download an error has occurred.

Once there is evidence of an explosion, in the control center the alarm was given. The audience was forbidden to leave the place, and the operators had to preserve all available evidence for further investigation.

Data analysis of what happened with the Shuttle, showed the crash was to blame for the piece of insulation damaged the planar panel. Tests have shown that insulation material can penetrate the panel. This resulted in a big hole, which got heated to extremely high temperature gases. This led to the destruction of the Shuttle.

Initially there were other versions, it was assumed that the Shuttle could suffer already in space, from a meteor collision or a lightning strike. However the crew of such incidents are not reported.

This crew was the third, who died in the NASA missions: in 1967, right on the pad occurred the catastrophe of the ship “Apollo-1”, and in 1986 on takeoff, blew up the Shuttle “Challenger”.

Six of the crew members of Columbia, had a family, for three it was the first flight into space.

In connection with the crash in the US was declared four days of mourning. Space travel was suspended during the investigation of the causes of the crash. At this period of the obligation to deliver cargo to the ISS went to Russia.

During the first days after the disaster, was found a large number of thermal protection tiles, the nose of the Shuttle, one of the engines, as well as two sections of the left wing and emergency flight recorders.

In 38 districts of the state of Texas and 25 districts of Louisiana rescuers found more than 12 thousand different fragments of the Shuttle, while the Shuttle consisted of 2 million different components. It was necessary to collect the largest possible number of fragments to the nature of injuries to reconstruct the picture of the destruction of the Shuttle. Later was discovered and the flight data recorder and fragments of wing damage which led to the death of the Shuttle.

The members of the independent Board investigating the causes of the disaster of the space Shuttle delivered the final verdict in the summer of 2003.

According to the final report of the experts, omissions NASA played a lesser role in the tragedy than technical problems. The experts also argued that, if the design of the Shuttle did not meet the safety requirements, it was necessary to identify this before you start to do something corrective.

If these problems, which NASA knows for a long time, will not be resolved, we are waiting for another disaster.The text of the report

NASA has been criticized for lack of vigilance and “lack of curiosity as to what shouldn’t happen”. Experts said that he would like to NASA management listened to their advice, but do not count on it, because “they always believe they are right and unwilling to listen to advice from outside”.

“Organization of work of NASA, from our point of view, can ensure the safety of flights”, — said the head of the space policy Institute of George Washington University Dr. Logsden.

According to the NASA report, published a few years later, the astronauts were killed within seconds.

After separation of the cab from other parts of the Shuttle pressure drop inside of her, if not killed astronauts that brought them into unconsciousness. When the cabin collapsed, their bodies with great speed fell on the ground from a height of more than 60 km, burnt down during the fall due to friction in the atmosphere.

Program Space Transportation System was discontinued in 2011, the death of the Shuttle played a role in its closure. Last flight space Shuttle discovery. During the launch he’s just like “Columbia” has fallen off a few pieces of insulating foam, but this time they did not cause serious damage to the Shuttle.