Space Shuttle Columbia Loss

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon reentering Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven crew members.

The disaster was the second fatal accident in the Space Shuttle program after Space Shuttle Challenger, which broke apart and killed the seven-member crew 73 seconds after liftoff in 1986.

  • Date February 1, 2003; 14 years ago
  • Time 08:59 EST (13:59 UTC)
  • Location Over Texas and Louisiana
  • Cause Wing damage from debris
  • Outcome Space Shuttle fleet was grounded for more than two years while safety measures were added, including procedures to deal with catastrophic cabin depressurization, better crew restraints, and an automated parachute system.
  • Casualties
  •      Rick D. Husband
  •      William C. McCool
  •      Michael P. Anderson
  •      Kalpana Chawla
  •      David M. Brown
  •      Laurel Clark
  •      Ilan Ramon

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