Events of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster
The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster occurred when
Space Shuttle Columbia broke up when it was reentering the
atmosphere on February 1, 2003. The cause of the disaster was that a piece of foam broke from the external fuel tank. This made a hole in the shuttle's wing. During its entry, hot gases entered the wing, causing it to break up. All of the people on board died when it broke up.
Parts of Columbia were found across the state of
Texas. The government of the
United States has told people who find parts of the
Space Shuttle to return the parts to the government. If they do not give the parts back they may face legal penalties. Even today parts are still being found. All of the found parts are currently in a building owned by
NASA. NASA is trying to get all of the parts. They want to figure out the cause of the accident. They hope getting the parts back will help them do this.