Columbia Timeline



A timeline of events in the last flight of space shuttle Columbia. All times EST.

Jan. 16, 10:39 a.m. – Columbia rockets into orbit from Kennedy Space Center.

Feb. 1, 8:15 a.m. – Columbia fires braking rockets, streaks toward touchdown.

9 a.m. – Mission Control loses all data and contact with Columbia crew.

9 a.m. – Residents of Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana report hearing “a big bang” and seeing flames in the sky.

9:16 a.m. – Columbia’s scheduled landing.

9:29 a.m. – NASA declares emergency.

9:44 a.m. – NASA warns residents to stay away from possibly hazardous debris.

11 a.m. – NASA lowers flag next to its countdown clock at Cape Canaveral, Fla., to half-staff.

2:05 p.m. – President Bush: “Columbia is lost; there are no survivors.”