29 September, 2020

Fireballs In The Sky

Initial investigations suggest the insulation that came off during lift-off may be responsible More Coverage

AP
Fireballs In The Sky
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
A week after Columbia disintegrated before a disbelieving world, it still remains a mystery as to what exactly went wrong with the space shuttle that was all along regarded as a marvel of space engineering. The tragic crash claimed all seven crew members on board, including Karnal-born astronaut Kalpana Chawla. The shuttle was returning after a 16-day mission in space.

Preliminary investigations have zeroed in on a piece of insulation which chipped off from the shuttle shortly after lift-off. While NASA engineers had initially dismissed it as "inconsequential", later they realised it could throw new light on the crash. Now senior scientists at NASA, including programme manager Ron D. Dittemore, are talking about redoing the whole analysis.

The insulation broke off from the shuttle's external fuel tank and was roughly the size of a 20-inch television screen, six inches thick and weighed a little over one kg. Space shuttles are covered with an external lining of heat-resistant tiles which provide insulation from the extremely high temperatures of over 1,600 degrees...
unsub

THIS ARTICLE IS PRICELESS...

To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.


More from Davinder Kumar


Latest Magazine

October 05, 2020
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section