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Saturday, 1 February, 2003, 19:37 GMT
Seven die in shuttle disaster
Columbia's crew
Inquiries have been launched to discover why the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it returned home, killing all seven crew members. BBC News Online provides special reports on the tragedy and following investigation.


America mourns
People across the US are mourning the astronauts
A couple paying their respects
With the people of the United States mourning the loss of the seven astronauts killed, the Johnson Space Centre in Houston where the mission was being overseen, has become a focal point for expressions of grief.

 Luisa Baldini in Houston


Shuttle disaster
Columbia breaks up over Texas
Witnesses said they heard 'sonic-type boom'
The US space shuttle Columbia broke up soon after re-entering the Earth's atmosphere just minutes before it was due to land. Nasa officials hope recovered debris will provide vital clues. Space shuttle flights have been suspended pending the inquiries.

 Matt Frei reports from Washington


Nasa mission control
Nasa mission control
Contact was lost over Texas
The space agency Nasa lost contact with the craft about 15 minutes before it was due to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Concern has been raised about a piece of insulating foam that hit Columbia's left wing on launch.

 The last communications with Columbia

 Nasa news conference

 Nasa technical briefing


Reaction
US President George W Bush
Bush mourns "terrible news"
Shock and grief has been felt around the world - not just in the US but in India, where one of the crew was born, and in Israel, which had hoped to celebrate the return of the first Israeli astronaut.

 President Bush's statement

 Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon


The Columbia crew
Crew of the Columbia
The crew included the first Israeli astronaut
Tributes have been paid to the five men and two women who died on board Columbia. Among the team was the first Israeli to go to space, Ilan Ramon. Four of the seven crew were on their first shuttle mission.

 Samantha Simmonds reports


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