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On Feb. 1, 2003, the shuttle made its usual landing approach to the Kennedy Space Center. Just before 9 a.m. EST, however, abnormal readings showed up at Mission Control. They lost temperature readings from sensors located on the left wing. Then, tire pressure readings from the left side also vanished.
The Capcom, or spacecraft communicator, called up to Columbia to discuss the tire pressure readings. At 8:59:32 a.m., Husband called back from Columbia: "Roger," followed by a word that was cut off in mid-sentence.
At that point, Columbia was near Dallas, travelling 18 times the speed of sound and still 200,700 feet (61,170 meters) above the ground. Mission Control made several attempts to get in touch with the astronauts, with no success.
It was later found that a hole on the left wing allowed atmospheric gases to bleed into the shuttle as it went through its fiery re-entry, leading to the loss of the sensors and eventually, Columbia itself.
Celebrate the Courageous Crew and Columbia Shuttle with this Amazing shirt.
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