Tragically, the space shuttle Columbia was unable to remain intact during its reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, where the shuttle was destroyed, leaving no survivors in its wake. This program offers a probing study into not only what caused the malfunction, but the political and economical factors that may have contributed to the disaster. Several engineers predicted the accident, and interviews with NASA personnel appear to confirm that damage reports went ignored by their superiors. In addition, the decision to retire old "space planes" such as the Columbia for another model, the Orion, which is not scheduled to come out until 2015, is also examined, for this too could have far-reaching international consequences.
Space Shuttle Disaster Photos
Discuss NOVA on our TV talk forum!