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Space Shuttle Disaster

series: Nova

air date: 1/31/13 9:00 PM

On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas just 16 minutes before it was due to land. All seven astronauts aboard perished and the implications for the future of the space shuttle program were enormous. What caused the Columbia tragedy? An engineering flaw? A failure within NASA? A lack of financing? Could this catastrophe have been avoided? Through interviews with astronauts and their families, as well as with members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, "Space Shuttle Disaster" gives viewers a new look at the Columbia tragedy - and at NASA itself. From the creation of NASA through decades of technical and financial compromises, the program gets to the heart of what went wrong - and how to make sure it never happens again.

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