A Possible Breakthrough in the Columbia Disaster

Article written: 30 May , 2003
Updated: 19 Jun , 2013
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The Columbia disaster investigators believe they might have better proof that foam could have damaged the shuttle’s wing on launch. They recreated the conditions of launch, and fired a 760 gram chunk of space shuttle foam at the leading edge of a shuttle wing at 855 kph. On their first and only shot, they were able to lift up a seal, creating a gap 55 centimetres long. This gives further support to the theory that foam caused damage to the wing on launch, so that it couldn’t withstand the heat of re-entry. Further tests are planned for June.


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