Columbia

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Willie McCool Letter from space.

Astronaut Willie McCool?s letter from space just days before the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it returned to Earth, killing all seven crew members aboard.

16 Minutes From Home

As a Father, Husband, Runner, and Astronaut, Willie McCool seemed to Inspire Everyone Who Knew Him. Even at the End. And Even Now

December 2005

Most people know what happened. That a piece of foam broke off?Columbia?s external fuel tank and hit the shuttle?s left wing. That NASA officials on the ground gravely underestimated the severity of the damage. That, in fact, the damage caused the shuttle to burn and break into pieces in the skies over Texas, just 16 minutes before its scheduled landing on a clear, bright Saturday morning in February nearly three years ago. What everyone doesn?t know is something NASA investigators learned when they sifted through and analyzed the wrecked vessel on the ground.

Among the shuttle parts that investigators recovered was a damaged but intact piece of equipment called the R-2 instrument panel. When they unfolded it, they saw a series of switches that, according to NASA investigator Jon Clark, appeared to have been engaged and manipulated in the final minutes of the doomed astronauts? lives by the person in the shuttle?s right seat?the pilot. Although NASA?s official report is inconclusive, one theory is that the pilot was making adjustments and maneuvers even as?Columbia?was pitching and spinning toward Earth. That even when death was certainly imminent and known to the crew, Willie McCool was still trying to save the shuttle. Clark, whose wife, Laurel, died along with McCool and five others in the crash, says that what McCool did in those final moments ?was a big deal. A very big deal.?

The letter reads:

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

Space Shuttle Challenger

Exploded 29 Years Ago?

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Perhaps you meant Colombia?

Everyone knows, because Bryce Johns said so in an email, that the Herald on Sunday is full of “decent journalists, trained and skilled“.

Though it appears they are not trained and skilled in geography:

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I await an email from Bryce now, with the documents obtained from the Colombian National Library that proves that his “decent journalist, trained and skilled” was in fact right, that originally Colombia was known as Columbia and only through a little know quirk of the media has always been reported. wrongly, as Colombia.

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