Vadim Belyaev shares: Today in History. February 1st 2003.

Space Shuttle Columbia was on its 28th space mission when disaster struck. We remember those brave seven crew members who lost their lives in the service of their country and greater mankind.

“Columbia reentered the earth’s atmosphere on the morning of February 1. It wasn’t until 10 minutes later, at 8:53 a.m.–as the shuttle was 231,000 feet above the California coastline traveling at 23 times the speed of sound–that the first indications of trouble began. Because the heat-resistant tiles covering the left wing’s leading edge had been damaged or were missing, wind and heat entered the wing and blew it apart.”

Read the entire Shuttle story here at History.com