By Columbia Accident Investigation Board, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Volume 1 of a six quantity set. Investigates lack of the gap go back and forth Columbia, STS -107, and its seven-member staff on February 1, 2003. 4 components entitled: The twist of fate; Why the twist of fate happened; a glance forward; and Appendices A, B, C. Concludes with thoughts.

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Extra resources for Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report Volume I

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9 seconds after launch. A large object from the left bipod area of the External Tank struck the Orbiter, apparently impacting the underside of the left wing near RCC panels 5 through 9. The objectʼs large size and the apparent momentum transfer concerned Intercenter Photo Working Group personnel, who were worried that Columbia had sustained damage not detectable in the limited number of views their tracking cameras captured. This concern led the Intercenter Photo Working Group Chair to request, in anticipation of analystsʼ needs, that a highresolution image of the Orbiter on-orbit be obtained by the Department of Defense.

I expected it to be a little intermittent. ” “That is correct, Flight. m. (EI+1176, or 19 minutes-plus), the Mission Control Center commentator reported, “CAPCOM Charlie Hobaugh calling Columbia on a UHF frequency as it approaches the Merritt Island (MILA) tracking station in Florida. ” The Flight Control Team still had no indications of any serious problems onboard the Orbiter. In Mission Control, there was no way to know the exact cause of the failed sensor measurements, and while there was concern for the extended loss of signal, the recourse was to continue to try to regain communications and in the meantime determine if the other systems, based on the last valid data, continued to appear as expected.

A small oscillation is not unusual during ascent, but on STS-107 the amplitude was larger than normal and lasted longer. Less severe wind shears at 95 and 105 seconds after launch contributed to the continuing oscillation. An analysis of the External Tank/Orbiter interface loads, using simulated wind shear, crosswind, beta effects, and liquid oxygen slosh effects, showed that the loads on the External Tank forward attachment were only 70 percent of the design certification limit. The External Tank slosh study confirmed that the flight control system provided adequate stability throughout ascent.

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