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Shuttle Disaster

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Re-entry: 2

Investigators believe that the leading edge of the wing, damaged by the insulating foam during launch, allowed superheated gas at temperatures of about 1,600 degrees Celsius to penetrate and melt the interior.

At 0853 an amateur photographer captured footage of debris leaving the shuttle at 231,000 feet as it crossed the California coastline.

Another image appeared to show the left wing of the shuttle with a jagged edge, with a trail of debris showering behind.

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