Sunrise from Columbia Space Shuttle
|Photo by NASA|
Sixteen years after the shuttle disaster, in which seven astronauts, were killed, NASA released a picture of the sunrise from the window of the crew of the shuttle a few days before the disaster.
The US space agency NASA released a picture of the sunrise at the end of the week, as it was taken from the Columbia Space Shuttle on its last space flight, which ended with the deaths of seven astronauts, including the first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon.
The space shuttle Columbia disaster occurred on February 1, 2003, when the shuttle returned to Earth from a 16-day space trip. The photograph was taken on January 22, 2003. NASA did not say which of the seven crew members photographed the amazing picture of the sunrise from the crew cabin.
A NASA commission of inquiry established after the disaster determined that the cause of the failure was apparently air bubbles created by the insulating foam that covered the external fuel tank and increased its volume. In the next step the foam block broke off and hit the left wing of the shuttle.
During the return of the shuttle to Earth, the hole in the insulation layer of the shuttle caused the penetration of hot plasma (created during the friction with the atmosphere) to the shuttle body, causing it to explode. According to the conclusions of an external commission of inquiry established, NASA personnel were aware of the problem, but underestimated its danger.