Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, marked the 14th anniversary of the devastating Columbia Space Shuttle disaster that had claimed seven lives as the shuttle broke up and burnt to ashes while returning from a 16-day space mission.
The Space Shuttle Columbia burnt to ashes over Texas and Louisiana during its reentry on Feb. 1, 2003. NASA investigators concluded that the accident occurred because a piece of foam had fallen off the craft’s external fuel tank during launch. The foam hit the craft’s left wing, causing serious damage which eventually led the craft to explode when it reentered our planet’s atmosphere.
Like many others, Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia shared three tweets on the tragedies, which collectively read, “The 3rd of 3 tragedies whose anniversaries fall in 1 tough week for @NASA - today is the anniversary of #Columbia 1/ … Take some thought today for seven Americans lost in the space shuttle #Columbia disaster, for those lost on Challenger and Apollo I, and 2…”
Retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly and his brother, astronaut Scott Kelly, took to social-networking site Twitter to commemorate the tragic anniversary of the Columbia Shuttle accident. They called the 7 astronauts who lost their lives 14 years ago “brave” explorers and really good people.
The Columbia Shuttle accident was not the first of its kind to jolt NASA and the world as a whole. The first, of course, was 1986’s Challenger accident. The U.S. space agency also recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 capsule accident that had left three astronauts dead.