What Actually Happened To The Spacecraft Of Kalpana Chawla?

NASA has initiated two different probes into the matter of studying why and how did the Columbian Spacecraft carrying astronauts explode. T...

NASA has initiated two different probes into the matter of studying why and how did the Columbian Spacecraft carrying astronauts explode. The space shuttle of Columbia had serious malfunctions and the whole crew just got burned in space. The doomed crew were trying their best to regain their control over the craft and even the ground control could not help them better.


At the time of re-entry into the Earth's orbit, the spacecraft has lost its consciousness "within a matter of seconds". This happened due to a rapid depressurized situation in the cockpit containing the members. The depressurisation does happen and it is controlled by maintaining the speed and changing the necessary controls. But if it is rapid it is damaging.

The sudden decrease in the pressure has led to fatal effects on the crew. They might have been dead by now or if they were living, would have been thrown out of their seats. This extremely forceful action would have caused a serious effect on their suit, which usually was not capable enough to withstand such blows.



The helmets of the crew did not help much. Or even if it helped the crew to survive, the shuttle which broke mid-space and got shattered in the void would have still been deadly. NASA has special Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report which has studied and made possible conclusions on the incident.

At first, the initial report of the Columbian Accident Investigation Board concluded that the damage has started just after the takeoff. It is at this time when a large piece of in-built Insulating foam broke and came off the craft. It did not fly away into the air, instead, it hit the main edge of the shuttle's left wing.


The damage stayed and did not affect much until the crew had to come back to Earth through a re-entry. It is then that the initial hit has caused superheated gases to penetrate the left wing and the damage escalated real quick. Talking about the live situation of the crew a NASA head said this.
"We have evidence from some of the switch positions that the crew was trying very hard to regain control. We're talking about a very brief time in a crisis situation. This report confirms that although the valiant Columbia crew tried every possible way to maintain control of their vehicle, the accident was not ultimately survivable". 
Ending on the same the NASA Dy Associate Administrator says, "I call on spacecraft designers from all the other nations of the world, as well as the commercial and personal spacecraft designers here at home to read this report and apply these hard lessons which have been paid for us so dearly".

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All India Daily: What Actually Happened To The Spacecraft Of Kalpana Chawla?
What Actually Happened To The Spacecraft Of Kalpana Chawla?
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