Space Shuttle Disaster
Original PBS Broadcast Date: October 14, 2008
At the end of a nearly flawless 15-day mission in early 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry into Earth's atmosphere, killing the crew of seven. In this documentary, NOVA probes the accident and the decisions stretching back four decades that made the tragedy almost inevitable.
The Columbia disaster, during the 113th shuttle mission, was the beginning of the end for the space plane. NASA responded by announcing the retirement of the shuttle in 2010, to be replaced by the Orion crew exploration vehicle as part of the Constellation program, which is inspired partly by an earlier generation of Apollo-style rocketry and spacecraft. The decision to retire the space shuttle program is currently under intense review, as it would leave the U.S. with a "space gap" until the new Orion vehicle becomes ready around 2015.
Exploring the past and future of the shuttle through the lens of the Columbia accident, NOVA interviews key NASA personnel who witnessed problems with the space shuttle program firsthand, including NASA engineer Rodney Rocha, who tried to sound the alarm about Columbia's potentially damaged condition; and flight director Leroy Cain, who worked with controllers to make sense of a cascade of warning signals from the craft during its ill-fated return to Earth.
Format : AVI
Length : 466 MiB for 55mn 13s 179ms
Codec : XviD
Source : HDTV
Video #0 : MPEG-4 Visual at 1 043 Kbps
Aspect : 608 x 336 (1.810) at 29.970 fps