Comprehensive coverage

The investigators determined that a block of insulating foam that hit the left wing of the shuttle is the cause of the disaster

The Columbia crash investigation will be completed next month

 Ilan Ramon sanctifies Shabbat on the Columbia ferry
Ilan Ramon conducts Kiddush. From the last restored recordings

A block of foam is the cause of the Columbia crash, announced today (Tuesday) the team of investigators of the disaster that happened in early February this year. A block of insulating foam the size of a suitcase, which collided with the shuttle's left wing and severely damaged its heat shield, is apparently the cause of the crash.

It was the strongest statement so far from the team, which previously defined the impact of the insulating material on the heat shield as "only one of the possible reasons for the crash." Team member Roger Tetreault said that from the analysis of the thousands of remains collected in the states of Texas and Louisiana, after the crash, convincing proof emerges that the part of the wing, called "panel number eight", penetrated the left wing during launch, when the wing was hit by insulating material that separated from the external fuel tank.

As the shuttle made its way to Earth, the scorching air of reentry penetrated the wing and melted the metal clutches. Tetrault said the wing parts were splattered along with particles of iron and brass, created by the melting of the supporting parts made of steel and brass.

The team continues to investigate the damage caused by the foam block, and the chairman of the team of researchers, Harold Gehman, said that experiments are ongoing in sending foam to fiberglass parts in the laboratory, and later the experiment will be performed on wing parts of existing shuttles. According to him, work continues on the final investigation report which is expected to be completed in July.

Manasa reported that the necessary repairs to the agency's space shuttles are being carried out these days and should be completed by the time flights to space are expected to resume, at the end of the year or at the beginning of 2004. 

Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.