NASA has revealed that the Columbia crew were not told that the shuttle had been damaged and they might not survive re-entry. The seven astronauts who died will be remembered at a public memorial service on the 10th anniversary of the disaster this Friday at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
by G. Ryan Faith and Micah Walter-Range
Feb. 1, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia, which broke apart during reentry over the skies of Texas. This date also roughly coincides with the two other disasters that have shaped both NASA itself and public perception of the agency. The Apollo 1 fire occurred Jan. 27, 1967, and was the first major tragedy for the fledgling space agency. The fire made it clear, in very stark terms, that the exploration of space is not simply a competition and a matter for parades, but a deadly serious business. Almost 20 years later, on Jan. 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff. The Challenger accident stifled any hopes of a return to the heady days of the 1960s and presaged a more considered and conservative future for NASA.
by Bob Burnett
Even though he’s one of their own, many Republicans oppose President Obama’s Secretary of Defense nominee, former Senator Chuck Hagel. GOP leaders fear Hagel will be Obama’s hatchet man, leading the effort to shrink the defense budget.