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  Columbia crew's last minutes shown in video
Updated 01 March 2003, 10.41
Astronaut Kalpana Chawla waves to the camera
A video of the last few minutes of the doomed space shuttle Columbia and its astronauts has been found among the craft wreckage.

The video is 13 minutes long and shows four members of the crew making last preparations 30 minutes before re-entering Earth's atmosphere.

In it, Kalpana Chawla talks about putting on her gloves while Willie McCool moves a clock out the way.

Willie McCool and Commander Rick Husband (right)
Willie McCool and Commander Rick Husband (right)

And the shuttle Commander Rick Husband takes a drink from a pouch of liquid.

Laurel Clark films the view from the window as they get closer to Earth. There are lots of flashes of light, which Nasa say is normal during a night-time re-entry.

McCool is excited by this though as says: "It's really neat, it's a bright orange-yellow out over the nose, all over the nose."

Clues

Columbia disintegrated as it made its re-entry on 1 February, killing all seven brave astronauts on board.

The footage finishes only four minutes before Nasa mission control realised there was a problem with the shuttle. Just 11 minutes later, they lost contact with the craft.

Nasa officials are still trying to piece together clues to help them find out why the shuttle broke apart.

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Sci/TechTimeline: What happened
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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Mystery tile from Columbia gives new clue
Animals poisoned after licking shuttle debris
Was Columbia shuttle hit by space debris?
More revealed about Columbia's last moments

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