Space Shuttle Columbia

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Space Shuttle Columbia

The Space Shuttle Columbia (OV-102)was a spacecraft used by NASA to fly into outer space. It was the first Space Shuttle to fly into space, on April 12, 1981. It broke apart while re-entering the Earth's atmosphere on February 1, 2003, killing all seven people who were on it at the time. The shuttle flew a total of 28 missions. The Columbia was named after a US Navy ship that circumnavigated the world in 1836.[1] It was also the name of the Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module.

Cause of destruction[change | change source]

A piece of insulating foam from the external fuel tank peeled off during the launch 16 days earlier and struck the shuttle's left wing.[2]

A hole was punctured in the leading edge of the wing. During the intense heat of re-entry, hot gases entered the interior of the wing, destroying the support structures and causing the rest of the shuttle to break apart.[3]

Crew[change | change source]

The crew of STS-107. L to R: Brown, Husband, Clark, Chawla, Anderson, McCool, Ramon.

Missions[change | change source]

# Date Designation Launch pad Landing location Notes
1 12 April 1981 STS-1 39-A Edwards Air Force Base First Shuttle mission
2 12 November 1981 STS-2 39-A Edwards Air Force Base First re-use of manned space vehicle
3 22 March 1982 STS-3 39-A White Sands Space Harbor First mission with an unpainted External tank.
Only time that a space shuttle has landed at the White Sands Space Harbor. This launch was dedicated by Ronald Reagan to "the people of Afghanistan".
4 27 June 1982 STS-4 39-A Edwards Air Force Base Last shuttle R&D flight
5 11 November 1982 STS-5 39-A Edwards Air Force Base First four-person crew, first deployment of commercial satellite.
6 28 November 1983 STS-9 39-A Edwards Air Force Base First six-person crew, first Spacelab.
7 12 January 1986 STS-61-C 39-A Edwards Air Force Base Representative Bill Nelson (D-FL) on board/ final successful shuttle flight before Challenger disaster
8 8 August 1989 STS-28 39-B Edwards Air Force Base Launched KH-11 reconnaissance satellite
9 9 January 1990 STS-32 39-A Edwards Air Force Base Retrieved Long Duration Exposure Facility
10 2 December 1990 STS-35 39-B Edwards Air Force Base Carried multiple X-ray & UV telescopes
11 5 June 1991 STS-40 39-B Edwards Air Force Base 5th Spacelab - Life Sciences-1
12 25 June 1992 STS-50 39-A Kennedy Space Center U.S. Microgravity Laboratory 1 (USML-1)
13 22 October 1992 STS-52 39-B Kennedy Space Center Deployed Laser Geodynamic Satellite II
14 26 April 1993 STS-55 39-A Edwards Air Force Base German Spacelab D-2 Microgravity Research
15 18 October 1993 STS-58 39-B Edwards Air Force Base Spacelab Life Sciences
16 4 March 1994 STS-62 39-B Kennedy Space Center United States Microgravity Payload-2 (USMP-2)
17 8 July 1994 STS-65 39-A Kennedy Space Center International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2)
18 20 October 1995 STS-73 39-B Kennedy Space Center United States Microgravity Laboratory (USML-2)
19 22 February 1996 STS-75 39-B Kennedy Space Center Tethered Satellite System Reflight (TSS-1R)
20 20 June 1996 STS-78 39-B Kennedy Space Center Life and Microgravity Spacelab (LMS)
21 19 November 1996 STS-80 39-B Kennedy Space Center 3rd Wake Shield Facility flight/ longest Shuttle flight as of 2006
22 4 April 1997 STS-83 39-A Kennedy Space Center Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL)- cut short
23 1 July 1997 STS-94 39-A Kennedy Space Center Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL)- reflight
24 19 November 1997 STS-87 39-B Kennedy Space Center United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-4)
25 13 April 1998 STS-90 39-B Kennedy Space Center Neurolab - Spacelab
26 23 July 1999 STS-93 39-B Kennedy Space Center Deployed Chandra X-ray Observatory
27 1 March 2002 STS-109 39-A Kennedy Space Center Hubble Space Telescope service mission (HSM-3B)
28 16 January 2003 STS-107 39-A Did not land (Planned to land at Kennedy Space Center) Earth science research mission. Shuttle destroyed during re-entry on 1 February 2003. All seven astronauts on board died.

References[change | change source]