Launched: January 16, 2003, 10:39 a.m. EST
Space Shuttle: Columbia
Crew: Commander Rick Husband, Pilot Willie McCool, Payload Commander Michael Anderson, Mission Specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon.
STS-107, was a scientific research mission,and carried seven crew members including the first Israeli astronaut (Ramon). Experiments in the SPACEHAB Double Module included nine commercial payloads involving 21 separate investigations, four payloads for the European Space Agency with 14 investigations, one payload/investigation for ISS Risk Mitigation and 18 payloads supporting 23 investigations for NASA's Office of Biological and Physical Research (OBPR).
Kennedy Space Center (KSC) landing was planned for February 1 after a 16-day mission, but Columbia and crew were lost during reentry over East Texas at about 9 a.m. EST, 16 minutes prior to the scheduled touchdown at KSC. A seven-month investigation followed, including a four month search across Texas to recover debris. The search was headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, La. Nearly 85,000 pieces of orbiter debris were shipped to KSC and housed in the Columbia Debris Hangar near the Shuttle Landing Facility. The KSC debris reconstruction team identified pieces as to location on the orbiter, and determined damaged areas. About 38 percent of the orbiter Columbia was eventually recovered.
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