The day of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster – level 2


On January 16, 2003, six astronauts from the US and one from Israel boarded the Space Shuttle Columbia. At the start, the heat shield was damaged a little but experts thought that it wasn’t a big problem.

The astronauts continued their journey and they did many experiments in space. 16 days later, the time came to return to Earth. All seven astronauts were looking forward to going back to Earth.

When the shuttle entered the Earth’s atmosphere, the temperature on the surface of the shuttle went up and up. At one moment, it was too much for the damaged heat shield. There was an explosion and the shuttle was destroyed in the sky. All seven astronauts died in the accident.

After the accident, NASA shuttle missions were stopped until 2005 when the Space Shuttle Discovery was sent into space.

Difficult words: space shuttle (a plane for going to space – spacecraft), heat shield (a layer of material which protects something from high temperature), damaged (broken), surface (what covers something), until (to one moment in time).

What safety measures did NASA put in place after the Space Shuttle Columbia accident to ensure the safety of subsequent mission crews?


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