Space Shuttle Columbia
's most recent and last mission was STS-107.
January 16-February 1, 2003
First flight of SPACEHAB
Research Double Module; Fast Reaction Experiments Enabling Science, Technology, Applications and Research (FREESTAR
); first Extended Duration Orbiter
(EDO) mission since STS-90. This 16-day mission is dedicated to research in physical, life, and space sciences, to be conducted in approximately 80 separate experiments, comprised of hundreds of samples and test points. The seven astronauts
worked 24 hours a day
, in two alternating shifts. 28 flights 1981-2003.
April 12-14, 1981 (Crew: John W. Young and Robert Crippen)
Most recent flight:
STS-109, March 1-12, 2002 Hubble Space Telescope
Other notable missions:
STS 1 through 5, 1981-1982 first flight of European Space Agency built Spacelab
. STS-50, June 25-July 9, 1992, first extended-duration Space Shuttle
mission. STS-93, July 1999 placement in orbit of Chandra X-Ray
Past mission anomaly
: STS-83, April 4-8, 1997. Mission was cut short by Shuttle managers due to a problem with fuel cell No. 2, which displayed evidence of internal voltage degradation
after the launch.
February 1, 2003
: Space shuttle Columbia
all times Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Space shuttle Columbia
fires its braking rockets and streaks toward touchdown.
lers lose data from four temperature indicators on the inboard and outboard hydraulic
systems on the left side of the spacecraft. The shuttle is functioning normally otherwise, so the crew is not alerted.
Sensors detect rise in temperature
and pressure in tires on the shuttle's left-side landing gear
is lost from three temperature sensors embedded in the shuttle's left wing.
Data is lost from tire temperature and pressure sensors on the shuttle's left side. One of the sensors alerts the crew, which is acknowledging the alert
when communication is lost.
Approximately 9 a.m.
All vehicle data is lost. The shuttle is 207,135 feet over north-central Texas
and is traveling about Mach 18.3. NASA officials try to re-establish communication
for several minutes.
Texas and Louisiana
residents report a loud noise and bright balls – shuttle debris -- in the sky
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe contacts President Bush and Homeland Security
Director Tom Ridge
when the shuttle does not land on schedule. O'Keefe later says Bush "offered full and immediate support."
NASA declares an emergency
warns residents of affected area to stay away from debris
President Bush returns to Washington.
The flag atop the countdown clock at Florida's Kennedy Space Center
is lowered to half-staff
. Flags at the White House and Capitol
Bush returns to Washington from Camp David
in a speeding motorcade
NASA administrators officially announce the loss
of the shuttle and all aboard.
Bush calls Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
and speaks with him about 5 minutes. The shuttle was carrying the first-ever Israeli astronaut
, payload specialist Ilan Ramon.
The president addresses the nation from the Cabinet Room at the White House
is lost," he says. "There are no survivors
sources: CNN Headline News, NASA