Board to conduct separate tests of NASA in Columbia disaster
While an investigation into the Feb. 1 disaster of the Space Shuttle Columbia continues, the board investigating the tragedy will now conduct separate tests of NASA.
Speaking at Huntsville International Airport, Retired Navy Adm. Harold Gehman Jr. said the board would now try to figure out what caused superheated gases to breach the orbiter – eventually leading to its demise. Gehman said those types of gases, known as plasma, had to be responsible for high temperature readings inside the orbiter. He added that normal radiation heating would not have caused that type of temperature rise.
Gehman said due to the size of the investigation, it is necessary to expand the size of the board. Last Thursday, members of the board stated that superheated air seeped through a breach in the orbiters left wing and possibly its wheel compartment during its descent from orbit.