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( NewsFlash Space shuttle Columbia explodes on re-entry. All on board killed   ( divider line
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13974 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Feb 2003 at 9:12 AM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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113 Comments     (+0 »)
2003-02-01 09:24:20 AM  
Yes it did.. turn on CNN!
2003-02-01 09:24:35 AM  
NASA has lost contact with the Columbia. Asshat.
2003-02-01 09:25:01 AM  
Location of space shuttle Columbia is unknown
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2003 at 9:16 a.m. EST

The space shuttle Columbia is missing and presumed lost.

Mission control in Houston last made contact with the Orbiter as it reentered Earth's atmosphere at about 207,000 feet over Texas at about 9 a.m. EST, about 16 minutes prior to its scheduled landing at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. Columbia was scheduled to land at 9:16 a.m. EST.

Tracking systems at the Kennedy Space Center did not acquire Columbia as it approached the Florida coast

We will next update this box as soon as more information becomes available.

From Doesn't look good.
2003-02-01 09:26:10 AM  
They just showed picture of it breaking apart live on CNN!
2003-02-01 09:27:02 AM  
CNN just showed video of the shuttle re-entering over Texas. It looked like it was broken up. There were multiple reentry trails.
2003-02-01 09:28:10 AM  
Yeah, there are multiple pieces of debris falling from the sky on CNN. Fb- is right.
2003-02-01 09:28:54 AM  
2003-02-01 09:29:41 AM  
Weird, isn't showing that, nor is it showing on any broadcast channel.
2003-02-01 09:31:48 AM  
Anecdotal evidence, sounds of an explosion 100 miles north of Dallas, multiple trails.
2003-02-01 09:34:02 AM  
"Nasa official confirms emergency. Shuttle Columbia destroyed during re-entry."
2003-02-01 09:34:46 AM  
This sucks. 17 years to the week, of the Challenger disaster.
2003-02-01 09:37:43 AM  
Well, that's it for NASA. I would expect ISS to be evacuated and abandoned. I don't agree with that; space travel is dangerous but that comes with the territory, but politically I think NASA is out of the manned space business.
2003-02-01 09:38:39 AM  
Or perhaps it'll be ramped up, Weaps. Too early to tell.
2003-02-01 09:40:35 AM  
I briefly heard someone on CNN mention problems with hydraulics indicated by reentry computer info. Has anyone else heard anything about that?
2003-02-01 09:41:42 AM  

I was thinking about that, too. After the Challenger disaster they grounded the shuttle for something like 18 months. They can't do that this time. I could be wrong, but as far as I know the crew of the ISS can't get home any other way.
2003-02-01 09:41:54 AM  

(from the website for this link):

1435 GMT (9:35 a.m. EST)

The last voice communications from the crew involved a tire pressure message. Communications were then garbled and static. Contact with the shuttle was lost at about 9 a.m. EST.
2003-02-01 09:42:56 AM  
Nasa issued a warning to people in the Dallas area to stay away from any debris they find. It could contain highly toxic chemicals used in propellants.
2003-02-01 09:42:56 AM  
The crew could get down with emergency evacuation equipment, Too2ez. But yeah, it'd be dangerous. Russia still has some resupply rockets, though.
2003-02-01 09:44:48 AM  
The ISS crew has, I think, a Soyuz which can be used for escape. Tire pressure eh? Blown tire would really screw up the aerodynamics at re-entry speeds.
2003-02-01 09:45:02 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2003-02-01 09:45:14 AM  
From CNN: "We've taken all reasonable measures, and all of our landings so far since 9-11 have gone perfectly," said Lt. Col. Michael Rein, an Air Force spokesman.

What the hell has 9-11 got to do with this?
2003-02-01 09:45:38 AM  
Oh my God! This is so sad... :-(
2003-02-01 09:46:07 AM  
Yeah, but that high up the tires haven't decended into landing position yet, and are effectively sealed up within the underbelly of the shuttle, aren't they? Are there any shuttle buffs out there?
2003-02-01 09:46:38 AM  
Ruptured Toad:

He's probably just trying to stop a bunch of terrorism conspiracy BS before it get started.
2003-02-01 09:46:59 AM  
Did anyone make it? They do have ejector seats now.
2003-02-01 09:48:28 AM  
9-11 has to do with the security involved with the Shuttle program, Rupturedtoad, since the visibility of NASA could be an attractive target. As well, this was the first mission with an Israeli astronaut on board. So, this is referring to the security. They're already trying to trace back causes.

Sad. On CNN's Space section, The article titled "NASA chief pays tribute to Challenger crew" is located right under the article titled, "Shuttle landing in question"
2003-02-01 09:48:44 AM  
Shoot. They are now reporting that on liftoff 16 days ago a piece of insulation from the fuel tanks came off and struck the left wing. I wonder if that did any damage which affected landing today.
2003-02-01 09:50:45 AM  
How long until Bush is on TV blaming this is Iraq and weapons of mass destruction?
2003-02-01 09:52:00 AM  

Shuttle landing gear isn't deployed until literally seconds before landing touchdown.

Space Shuttle reference

2003-02-01 09:52:27 AM  
...followed by Fb-. We'll see.
2003-02-01 09:52:31 AM  
Steveroni with Cheeseroni - I'm talking about if a tire blew within the well. From one of my Air Disaster books there is an account of a Caravelle that crashed somewhere in Europe back in the 60's or so. The cause was determined to be a fire in the wheel well which was caused by the pilots attempting to clear fog from the runway by taxiing with the engines at high power setting while riding the brakes. This caused them to heat up enough that when the plane did take off and retract the gear it, um, did bad things to the airframe.

There is no possibility of that here, obviously, but I just speculate (and of course that is all it can be here) that if a tire blew in the wheel well it would be A Bad Thing. Time will tell.

No ejector seats Publikwerks, and at that altitude and speed it would be irrelevant.
2003-02-01 09:52:45 AM  
Thanks RolloTomasi. Nifty link.
2003-02-01 09:53:03 AM  
No ejector seats on board, the shuttle was moving so fact you would be killed instantly if you ejected.

They were too high and moving too fact for the escape equipment to work.


If anyone else has conspiracy theories, shut the fark up. This is a tragedy, not fodder for your idiocy.
2003-02-01 09:53:50 AM  
I live in Central Florida (pity me, please) and we normally hear the sonic booms - they rattle the whole house - when the shuttle lands (by the way, it's great fun to watch the cat when that happens). I knew the shuttle was supposed to land and I kept waiting and waiting for the booms and switched on CNN when I didn't hear them.
2003-02-01 09:53:54 AM  
Also on board are 13 rats, eight garden orb weaver spiders, five silkworms and three cocoons, four Medaka fish eggs that will develop in space, three carpenter bees, 15 harvester ants and an assortment of fish.
2003-02-01 09:54:26 AM  
Gotcha, Weaps.
2003-02-01 09:55:32 AM  
Would it be wrong if the link to this thread was posted in Fark-lite? maybe in the P-shop thread, because the fark liters are flooding that thread with comments.
2003-02-01 09:56:23 AM  
It's early, SuburbanCowboy. Give it time for the hangovers to pass.
2003-02-01 09:56:33 AM  
09:57 EST: first mention of terrorism on CNN
2003-02-01 09:56:33 AM  
Yeah might wanna post it
2003-02-01 09:56:43 AM  
SuburbanCowboy: I don't know if regular Farkers can read these threads until they are posted to the main page, but I would say go ahead.
2003-02-01 09:57:40 AM  
Watch how much focus is turned on to the Israeli Colonel onboard Columbia.
2003-02-01 09:58:46 AM  
Doctechnical, I don't give a good gawd-damn what your excuse is. Do no troll.
2003-02-01 09:58:52 AM  
I just don't want to piss off the admins, or Drew or Jeff, however in this case, everyone os going into another thread and commenting, so I think they should have a forum right now.
2003-02-01 10:00:37 AM  
Heck, there are probably people posting here who weren't even alive when the Challenger exploded. I agree that it shouldn't be shocking, Doctechnical, but the fact is that lives are lost so infrequently in the U.S. space program that it's shocking thus far.
2003-02-01 10:01:21 AM  
SubCowboy, I don't think there are any admins about just now. I'm sure it'll be posted to the main page, and most likely, more than once.
2003-02-01 10:02:16 AM  
They are saying something about foam insulation falling off during take off. No idea what that means. Anyone wanna explaing that?
2003-02-01 10:02:56 AM  
So the pieces that are falling would be going faster than a bullet shot out of a rifle. That's just frightening. Makes you respect the guys that go up there for the pioneers that they are a little more.
2003-02-01 10:03:04 AM  

Keep reloading the link that is the origin of this thread, Dapper_Dan:

1440 GMT (9:40 a.m. EST)

During a mission status news conference yesterday, Entry Flight Director Leroy Cain was asked about any possible damage to the shuttle's thermal tiles during launch. The tiles are what protect the shuttle during the fiery reentry into Earth's atmosphere.

Tracking video of launch shows what appears to be a piece of foam insulation from the shuttle's external tank falling away during ascent and hitting the shuttle's left wing near its leading edge.

But Cain said engineers "took a very thorough look at the situation with the tile on the left wing and we have no concerns whatsoever. We haven't changed anything with respect to our trajectory design. It will be a nominal, standard trajectory."
2003-02-01 10:03:22 AM  
For those of you in Dallas/Ft Worth... watch for falling debris.
2003-02-01 10:04:27 AM  
I'm going to put the link in the p-shop thread.
Mods/admins, feel free to remove my comment from that thread if need be.
This is one case where It would be good that the non-total-farkers have access to comment.
2003-02-01 10:04:48 AM  
k thanks, stevaroonie
2003-02-01 10:05:02 AM  
Look at the weather radars for the area.

Debris track goes all the way into Louisiana
2003-02-01 10:05:22 AM  
They've got the launch with debris falling off on CNN right now.
2003-02-01 10:05:23 AM  
"During liftoff, damage was caused to the outer skin, wing and ceramic heat tiles."

"Engineers thought damage was not significant."
2003-02-01 10:06:04 AM  
CNN now showing film of liftoff and possible debris damaging the shuttle then.

2003-02-01 10:06:55 AM  
Reports coming in of debris being found in Texas.
2003-02-01 10:09:22 AM  
NORAD, Space Command, and the Strategic Air Command are all now involved in the investigation.
2003-02-01 10:10:52 AM  
I think I remember reading something about the Israeli Colonel onboard brought with him some artwork made by Holocaust victims.
2003-02-01 10:11:35 AM  
Looks like the normal Farkers will have to wait for an admin to wake up.
2003-02-01 10:12:01 AM  
Ugh, here's a fun fact: The Israeli Air Force Pilot who's on the mission also took part in the raid on Iraq's nuclear reactor....
2003-02-01 10:13:05 AM  
oh nice
2003-02-01 10:13:48 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

I don't know if this will show up to well, but it's from Rachycentron's link -- you can see a green line on weather radar where the debris is tracking. Freaky.
2003-02-01 10:15:36 AM  
At last count 43 separte posts of this event on TOTALFARK. A sad way to find out how alert we all are.
2003-02-01 10:15:44 AM  
MSNBC is now lcalling it an explotion...
2003-02-01 10:16:38 AM  


This is sad. Man if it turns out that the arabs somehow has something to do with this.. it's gonna be WWIII for sure.
2003-02-01 10:18:19 AM  
Conspiracy theorists will jump on this one: Israeli onboard, debris lands near Palestine Texas.
2003-02-01 10:18:32 AM  
Steveroni with Cheeseroni: Can you give us a link to a higher res image, or give the url for that page?
2003-02-01 10:18:43 AM  
thread just went up on regular Fark:
2003-02-01 10:18:58 AM  
Eerie. The warning against the debris actually says that you can die within 48 hours if you inhale fumes from some parts of the shuttle.
2003-02-01 10:19:16 AM  
You know there had to be a military fighter escort as it was coming in. What if there was a accident with our own aircraft. Ohh, the conspieracy boys will have a field day with this. Break out the tin foil hats. I got mine.
2003-02-01 10:19:36 AM  
Arabs... The space shuttle. Oh please, get a grip. I know Saddam was on that mission and sabotaged it from orbit. Part of the debris seen is Saddam's dramatic escape! Film at 11!
2003-02-01 10:21:09 AM  
Indiepress: the link is in Rachycentron's post about 5 or 6 or so above mine... I think that it is likely fading by now. I'll e-mail you a higher res pic, if you'd like, and curse Picturestage for resizing.
2003-02-01 10:21:18 AM  
There was a large group of people that all went out this morning to the beach here. The track had it falling right over the top of the MS coast. It never came by and we left thinking the haze was to thick on the horizon to see it. We got back in the house just as it was announced. Sad.
2003-02-01 10:21:49 AM  
I bet "Drivinwest" is pretty shaken up over this. However, his commentary on this will be pretty insightful.
2003-02-01 10:23:15 AM  

There wasn't a fighter escort that high or at that speed (the shuttle is well in excess any speed our fighters can achieve during reentry.)
2003-02-01 10:24:17 AM  
Does Drivenwest have connections to the shuttle?
2003-02-01 10:24:20 AM  
This should shut down the space program for what, the next 50 years?
2003-02-01 10:27:15 AM  

Last I recalled, he was involved in a ground control position. The details are sketchy, but I recall a pic of him sitting in a shuttle on his profile.
2003-02-01 10:28:14 AM  
Is it just me or is that Indian crew member pretty hot?
2003-02-01 10:28:26 AM

Loop of radar images from the NWS
2003-02-01 10:30:03 AM  
**Does Drivenwest have connections to the shuttle**

I would bet he is pretty busy right now. I wouldn't expect to hear from him
2003-02-01 10:31:40 AM  
Steveroni with Cheeseroni :

Excellent point. Kicks a hole in my theory. Unless they were using recovered UFOs or X-wings for the escort. But that's another thread...
2003-02-01 10:40:34 AM  
Here is a higher res image of the one posted a bit earlier.

[image from too old to be available]
2003-02-01 10:47:21 AM  
Pretty big thread for TotalFark. One shuttle lost every 13 years doesn't sound too bad. It's what, 7 people every decade? More people are lost doing research on earth. This just gets way more publicity.

Not that I don't care. I'm all for science n stuff.
2003-02-01 10:50:48 AM  
I live in Dallas - the "explosion" or whatever it was shook the house!
2003-02-01 10:52:55 AM  
My girlfriend lives in Beaumont, Texas, a few miles from where they've located debris. She's crying her eyes out...
2003-02-01 11:05:25 AM  
What a way to wake up
2003-02-01 11:12:15 AM  
Man that weather radar image is freaky.. can't stop looking at it.
2003-02-01 11:15:46 AM  
Rumbleminz: Why do you say that about DrivinWest? Is he involved in the program somehow, or is it just he lives in Texas? (not really familiar with most farkers personal lives)
2003-02-01 11:21:05 AM  
radar image from NOAA a minute ago...bright red
contrail or whatever....sad....
2003-02-01 11:59:54 AM  

If DrivinWest works at KSC, he's probably home for the weekend. There's an item at the link stating as much.

Horrible. Words cannot express.
2003-02-01 12:02:31 PM  
Here is a link to the ideal landing procedure for the shuttles. It gives you an idea of what was supposed to happen with the landing procedure.
2003-02-01 12:38:29 PM  
Oh lord... sorry, I just woke up, oh lord.
2003-02-01 01:11:43 PM  
Man, good thing I didnt go into work today.
2003-02-01 01:22:24 PM  
Dude, that's pretty farked up right there. I remember watching the Challenger reruns in '86...I had an 8:00 calc class and the prof came in and said "did any of you watch the news this morning?" We, being college freshmen, were way too busy eating froot loops to watch the news and just stared at him. He didn't break the news, just said "after class go find a TV," then proceeded to lecture for an hour about derivatives or some shiat. Needless to say I blew off the rest of the day...

As for the doom of NASA, my $0.02 is that, as has been mentioned before, with ISS they can't really bail now. Still, it should boost investment in the space elevator.
2003-02-01 01:29:44 PM  
I remember when the Challenger exploded. My daughter was all of about a month old. Now this. Funny how close the dates are, too.
2003-02-01 01:39:27 PM  
Reagan's speech after the Challenger disaster
One of the most beautiful speeches ever given.
2003-02-01 01:46:04 PM  
Ummm... a man from Palestine, TX just called in to NBC.

2003-02-01 01:52:46 PM  
Think about the ratings!
2003-02-01 02:43:24 PM  
The tire pressure comment could be an indication that the craft was heating up in an unusual way and the tires were being heated and the pressure was going up . . .
2003-02-01 02:56:31 PM  
Isn't there a couple of FARKers who work for NASA who posted on the OTHER shuttle disaster thread earlier in the week? If so; This must be hitting you very hard, and my deepest sympathies.

This is just nasty.
2003-02-01 02:59:30 PM  
Thats what i was thinking Worthlessjuan. Or possibly those old cracks in the engine from ages ago.

So sad.
2003-02-01 03:34:54 PM  
What an engineer's nightmare . . . maybe recognizing damage (insulation or ice striking the wing on lift off) that possibly means the craft is doomed, but what can you do, it's like losing your wheels on take-off . . . everything is cool, till you land.
2003-02-01 04:03:33 PM  
This sucks. Today sucks, I have a date and this news just makes the day worse.
2003-02-01 04:38:23 PM  
[image from too old to be available]

"Worst. Reentry. Ever."
2003-02-01 05:18:12 PM  
C'mon... loosen up, shake it off, more people died in car crashes while I typed this. Someone make a joke already.
2003-02-01 05:30:03 PM  
Nutdip while this is no doubt true, let's put it in perspective. The people in those car crashes who died did not have the assistance of thousands of people, the benefit of the best minds science has to offer, or the eyes of the world on them. Not to say that their deaths are not as tragic, but NASA takes great pride in making orbital travel as safe as possible. Astronauts are monitored at every point of their mission. They don't take a shiat without Houston knowing about it in some way. This will affect the entire space program, which means it will affect thousands of jobs and cost millions, if not billions of dollars.
2003-02-01 09:35:39 PM  
This aint to good.. even though we all know of the risks of space flight.. its not the point.. this is not good.. and is sad.. :-(
2003-02-01 09:38:47 PM  
godspeed to them all, we must continue this endevour otherwise their sacrifice will have been in vane.

god bless,
2003-02-02 02:29:52 AM  
Jesus... I was in Beaumont TX helping my dad get mulch for the lawn when this happened. May Dea Magna be with the familys of the astronauts.
2003-02-02 05:09:46 AM  
So NASA has degerated into a huge publicity stunt into a laughable publicity stunt where the only reason to launch if to fry the next token to a crisp.

How about getting politics out of science so we stop wasting money sending people into space? Retire the shuttle already.
2003-02-02 03:36:35 PM  
I am still wondering why NASA didn't have the face recognition technology available to see defects on a wing of the shuttle. As some people have pointed out, within the 16 days the shuttle was in orbit, the Hubble satellite could have been pointed at the shuttle instead of me.
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