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Shuttle Disaster

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Orbiting the Earth

Columbia's crew spent more than two weeks in space, orbiting the Earth at 28,163 km/h.

In this time the astronauts carried out more than 80 experiments, including investigations into tumour growth, cleaner methods of combustion and climate change, in the shuttle's onboard laboratory, Spacehab.

Investigators later disclosed that on day two, military radar images - unseen by Nasa technicians at the time - showed what could have been a small section of the leading edge of the left wing floating away into space.


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