Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
Games
Games
Chat
Chat
Vote
Vote
Win
Win
Quiz
Quiz
Club
Club
 Homepage
 UK
 World
 Sport
 Music
 TV/Film
 Animals
 Sci/Tech
 Weather
 Pictures
 Find Out
 The Team

Contact Us
Help
Teachers





  Part of Columbia's left wing found
Updated 11 February 2003, 07.24
Grainy Air Force telescope image of Columbia
Nasa investigators trying to find out what happened to the shuttle Columbia have said they have found a piece of its left wing.

It's an important find because experts think something went wrong with the wing to cause the craft to break up.

Nasa are still not sure where the 46-cm (18-inch) bit of the wing belongs.

Fact File
Shuttle disaster facts
Re-entered atmosphere at 20,000 km/h (12,500 mph)
Disintegrated 65 kilometres (40 miles) above the Earth
Over 12,000 bits of debris scattered over Texas and Louisiana
Reports now being checked of sightings in California and Arizona

But it does have some carbon-carbon tiles on it, the special tough material that covers the leading edge of a wing.

That bit gets the hottest as shuttles re-enter the atmosphere.

Debris, scattered across very large distances, are being collected and pieced together to give Nasa clues to the tragedy.

Investigators are looking at several clues and possibilities to help them find out what happened:

  • The shuttle could have been hit by a piece of space junk or ice
  • The craft could have been hit by a lightening-like electrical phenomenon
  • They are also looking at a small unknown object picked up by military radar on the second day of the mission
  • The object could be debris or ice from waste water dumped by the shuttle
  • Nasa's also looking at a 60 centimetre (2-foot) section of one of a wing and the door of a landing gear compartment
  • Experts are also cleaning up an mage taken by an Air Force telescope minutes before Columbia broke up which shows possible left wing damage.

All seven astronauts died when Columbia broke up on re-entry to Earth's atmosphere on 1 February.

Watch/ListenBORDER=0
Hear story!Hear story!
BORDER=0

More InfoBORDER=0
Sci/TechTimeline: What happened
PicturesIn pix: Space shuttle disaster
Find OutFull Columbia disaster section
VoteVote on people in space

BORDER=0

Past StoriesBORDER=0
Was Columbia shuttle hit by space debris?
More revealed about Columbia's last moments
Tears in India and Israel for lost heroes
Space shuttle breaks up on re-entry

BORDER=0

Web Links
BORDER=0
Nasa Human Spaceflight
Note: You will leave CBBC. We are not responsible for other websites.

BORDER=0


 


E-mail this page to a friend



Full Sci/Tech Section
Also in Sci Tech now:
New Beagle mission plan revealed
Antarctic food chain under threat
Arctic 'to melt within 70 years'
Comments
Should we continue to explore space?
opening quoteI think that we should, because we can do so many things there that will help us. And I think the Columbia crew wouldn't want us to give up. closing quote
Alice, 13, Harrow
  More Comments
Space shuttle Columbia (Copyright Dr Scott Lieberman - AP) All the stories & pix about tragic Columbia
What's your fave computer game? Game On! Vote now for your fave
Is Buffy your fave? Who's your fave sci-fi fantasy character?
Do you have healthy food know how?
Mobile chat Chat about the latest mobile crazes
© BBC Back to top^^
Homepage | UK | World | Sport | Music | TV/Film | Animals | Sci/Tech | Weather
Pictures | Find Out | The Team | Games | Chat | Vote | Win | Quiz | Club