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. It was also the name of the Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module.
Cause of destruction[change | change source]
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.
Crew[change | change source]
- Commander: Rick D. Husband, a U.S. Air Force colonel and mechanical engineer, who piloted a previous shuttle during the first docking with the International Space Station (STS-96).
- Pilot: William C. McCool, a U.S. Navy commander
- Payload Commander: Michael P. Anderson, a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and physicist who was in charge of the science mission.
- Payload Specialist: Ilan Ramon, a colonel in the Israeli Air Force and the first Israeli astronaut.
- Mission Specialist: Kalpana Chawla, an Indian-born aerospace engineer on her second space mission.
- Mission Specialist: David M. Brown, a U.S. Navy captain trained as an aviator and flight surgeon. Brown worked on a number of scientific experiments.
- Mission Specialist: Laurel Clark, a U.S. Navy captain and flight surgeon. Clark worked on a number of biological experiments.
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]
- "Space Today Online - Space Shuttle Stories". spacetoday.org. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "Columbia's Problems Began on Left Wing". Space.com. Archived from the original on June 5, 2003. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
- "Molten Aluminum found on Columbia's thermal tiles". USA Today. Associated Press. March 4, 2003. Retrieved August 13, 2007.