Anderson, Brown, Chawla, Clark, Husband, McCool & Ramon:
...and now, Columbia is gone.
I landed at Dulles at 7:00 this morning, back from Argentina, went home and later turned on the TV.
We all knew this would happen someday - re-entry is only slightly less dangerous than lift-off.
I can only imagine the last moments of confusion as Husband and McCool watched F7 display the mad fight between the reaction control and aerosurface systems as they spiraled out of control. During this phase of re-entry, there is enough air pressure to use control surfaces, but the RCS can still contribute. Even if they had already switched to CSS flight control mode at this point, the navigational computers were surely quickly overloaded by mounting corrections.
I was angered to see the celebrations of the loss in Baghdad and on the West Bank, but I suppose it was somewhat understandable. There are sure to be many here who would celebrate Iraqi deaths if war comes.
So many children left without parents.