A Possible Breakthrough in the Columbia Disaster

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.