Problems on the Wing; Sadness



Fox News:

The first indication of a potential problem occurred minutes before 9 a.m. EST, when there was a loss of temperature sensors on the shuttle’s left wing, said Ron Dittemore, the program manager. During Columbia’s liftoff, a piece of insulating foam from the fuel tank was believed to have hit that wing.

Dittemore said the loss of the sensors on the left wing was followed seconds later by several other problems, including a loss of tire pressure and indications of excessive structural heating.


Military satellites with infrared detectors recorded several flashes as Columbia broke apart, according to a defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity. It was unclear whether those “spikes” of heat indicated an explosion, the burning of pieces of debris re-entering the atmosphere or something else.


In another room at Kennedy Space Center, O’Keefe met with the astronauts’ families, who had been waiting at the landing site for the shuttle’s return, spokeswoman Melissa Motichek said. Six of the seven astronauts were married, and five of them had children.

This is so sad.  I’m sorry that this had to happen to these people and their families.


“When the countdown clock, when it got to zero and then started going, instead of counting down, counting up and they were still not there, I told my friend, ‘I have a bad feeling. I think they are gone.’ And I was in tears,” Barr said.