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Columbia January 16, 2003 – February 1, 2003 Mission Duration: 15d 22h 20m 32s Loss of vehicle and crew before landing at KSC ITA Experiment: CIBX-2 Hardware Flown:   DMDA & LMA  2 DMDA minilabs and 17 LMA trays lost Numerous commercial and industrial experiments including 7 student experiments as part of ITA’s Space Outreach Program. Primary Mission Objective:  SpaceHab, Microgravity research. STS-107 carried the SPACEHAB Double Research Module on its inaugural flight, the Freestar experiment (mounted on a Hitchhiker Program rack), and the Extended Duration Orbiter pallet. ITAs hardware miraculously survived reentry.  A New York Times article the following day ran a story with a photo of a National Guardsman standing over debris in a convenience store parking lot.  In the debris was one of the DMDAs that flew. The second unit was recovered within 5 weeks.  The recovered hardware showed evidence of elevated temperatures and charring. However, the seals that isolated the sample wells held during re- entry, impact with the ground, and throughout the months in the KSC hangar before the data recovery efforts commenced.  Fluid samples were obtained from all of the DMDA experiments (9 of the 11 total for the payload). The quality of the data was good for about half of the experiments, including proof of success in creating and/or growing microcapsules, inorganic crystals, and, biofilms.
STS-107 Reentry
STS-107 MDA in guarded debris
STS-107 MDA in debris on street
STS-107 MDA recovered in debris field
Columbia Tragedy
STS-107 Sunrise from orbit
STS-107 Astronaut Chawla by CIBX hardware
STS-107 A beautiful launch
STS-107 January 16, 2003 Liftoff of Columbia
STS-107 downloaded photograph
STS-107 ITA Hardware aboard flight
STS-107 As see the day before reentry by a ground based telescope
STS-107 Crew photo
STS-107 Earth Photo
STS-107 view from orbit