Columbia is the first U.S. space shuttle in service since the enterprise. After the Challenger accident in 1986, no one knows whether NASA has reflected on and improved its internal security and decision-making mechanism.
In 2001, Columbia had to launch. However, due to a series of technical reasons, the launch plan was postponed 18 times, from January 2001 to January 2003. During this period, there were various problems. It seems that heaven has been blocking the launch. By the final launch date, the shuttle was delayed because of a problem with the pipeline thruster.
In fact, in the previous mission of Columbia, the middle hanging box was connected to the shuttle’s support with a layer of foam plastic. Part of it peeled off and hit the leading edge of the left wing of the shuttle during the lift off.
Although it was only a bubble, it reached 800 kilometers an hour at the high speed of the space shuttle, and knocked the left wing of the space shuttle out of a depression with a diameter of 7.5 centimeters. However, the heat insulation tiles were not damaged, there was no problem with the entire mission, and the astronauts returned safely.
The bubble on the connecting bracket impacts the space shuttle not for the first time. It often breaks up in the process of launching, and then strikes the space shuttle. So after NASA’s security team assessment, it is considered that the impact of foam will not threaten the safety of the space shuttle.
On January 16, 2003, the launch mission, which had been delayed for two years, was finally going on. Like challenger, seven astronauts boarded Columbia. On the day of launch, the lift off process was very smooth, and the space shuttle entered low earth orbit according to the scheduled time and route.
However, through the video playback of the day, NASA’s high-speed photography team found that 82 seconds after the launch of Columbia, the same situation as the previous mission, the connection bracket covered a bubble and spalling, hitting the left wing leading edge of the space shuttle.
However, this time the bubble is bigger, the size is equivalent to a briefcase, and the speed is higher. At that time, the speed of the space shuttle is 3000 kilometers per hour, so the left wing of the space shuttle has been knocked out of a 15 * 25 cm depression.
In this way, several pieces of insulation tiles were knocked off, which was very dangerous when the space shuttle returned to the atmosphere. So when Columbia was still in orbit, NASA’s mission management team began to evaluate the hole.
Later, NASA’s safety team did not make any remedial plans and informed the astronauts to return at the scheduled time. 17 days later, Columbia Airlines completed all the missions and began to return. At this time, the space shuttle will use its own engine to enter the atmosphere and return on its own.
At 8:00 a.m. on February 1, 2003, the ground control center informed Columbia to fire off orbit. At 8:15, the shuttle entered the atmosphere. At 8:45, it entered the earth’s dense atmosphere. By this time, the temperature at the bottom of the fuselage had risen to 1375 degrees, and the insulation tiles began to work.
At 8:49, Columbia reached the maximum speed of Mach 24.5 and the temperature was as high as 2800 degrees. At 8:59, the crew reported that the hydraulic control of the space shuttle failed and began to roll and yaw uncontrollably. The astronauts now felt the seriousness of the matter.
A minute later, the space shuttle disintegrated, turned into several flashes, all of which disappeared, and seven astronauts were killed. After that, the search and rescue team found 8000 pieces of debris, because the accident occurred in Texas, the entire debris scattered over hundreds of square kilometers. Some residents in Texas picked up some of the wreckage and ignored the warning, trying to bid online for $10000. The auctions were quickly pulled off the shelves. Hundreds of shuttle wrecks have been turned in, while Columbia’s largest one is only 1.2 meters long.
The cause of the accident was later identified as the previous stent bubble hit the left wing causing partial failure of the tile. When returning to the atmosphere, the ultra high temperature gas entered the body from the crack, causing the final disintegration of the space shuttle.
Since then, the launch mission of the space shuttle has been reduced again and again. By 2011, all the space shuttle will be out of service and no longer be used. The United States has also terminated the development plan of the space shuttle.
Xiaobian feels very sorry for this. The fresh life is destroyed by people’s negligence. The obstruction of heaven, the discovery of foam plastics, can not prevent disasters. Is it really impossible for human beings to touch the space shuttle?
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