On February 1 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it reentered the Earth's atmosphere over the United States. The shuttle had been returning to Earth with the crew, having spent the previous 15 days and 22 hours in space.
However, an incident which occurred just moments after lift off meant that the shuttle would never return safely to Earth. The thermal protection system tiles on the orbiter's left wing had been damaged after being struck by a piece of the insulating foam from the Space Shuttle external tank during the launch.
When Columbia reentered the atmosphere of Earth, the damage allowed hot atmospheric gases to penetrate the heat shield and destroy the internal wing structure, which caused the orbiter to become unstable and break apart. Try MEN Premium now for FREE...
just click here to give it a go. Sadly, all seven astronauts who were onboard Space Shuttle Columbia when it disintegrated were killed.Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk