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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 7/31/2005 4:32:59 PM EDT
How much of the Columbia have they found?

Were all of the astronauts bodies recovered?
Link Posted: 7/31/2005 6:33:43 PM EDT
I was able to view the debris from the Columbia accident after the pieces were delivered to a hanger at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA had allowed employees and their families only to view the debris. My father works at KSC, and actually helped develop the launch system for the shuttle.

According to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), 38% of the shuttle was recovered (some 84,000 peices).

I got to speak to engineers, who took me step by step on what happened to Columbia during its decent, and how the engineers were able to determine exactly where the wing was breached. I got to touch and hold peices of tile where the plasma penetrated the wing. One thing that I found amazing is that the shuttle tiles, although designed to withstand extreme temperatures, is so fragile that you could actually push your finger through it. I got a copy of the CAIB report. It's a 248 page book that details the entire accident.

I also spoke to a police officer who was sent to Texas to assist in the recovery of the astronauts. He told me quite candidly what he saw, and the conditions of the astronauts. Out of respect to them and their families, I will not discuss it here. I will say, that remains from all 7 were recovered.
Link Posted: 7/31/2005 6:51:25 PM EDT
I too had a chance to touch a piece of the heat shield tile, a damaged one, and they are really soft.
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