Exploding Shuttle

The search for shuttle debris has been called off for Saturday night. NASA says it will resume at daylight. The FBI has taken charge of the only human remains. Streaks of light shot across the skies above Texas signaling disaster aboard space shuttle Columbia. With seven astronauts on board, the aging aircraft broke into pieces raining smoking debris over hundreds of miles of countryside.

The shuttle carried six Americans and Israel's first astronaut. They were headed home from a 16-day mission. NASA says its flight controllers saw problems with Columbia's left wing then moments later, mission control 'lost contact.'

When Columbia lifted off, a piece of foam, used to insulate the external fuel tank broke off and struck the left wing. Officials believed that only caused minor damage to the spacecraft, but now they're not sure.

The tragedy comes almost exactly 17 years after the Challenger explosion. NASA officials must now search for the cause of this catastrophe, a mission that could take months to accomplish.


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