Today: Home  |  Your Aviation Newsletter  |  Webmasters Click Here  
Aviation History - Home Page

America The Beautiful!
Fly it High!

  Launch Pad !
Aviation Headlines
Aviation Fun Facts
B17 & P51 Gallery
LT Bomber Specs.
Book Descriptions
(Started April 20, 2005)
Aviation Articles
Aviation Clip Art
Aviation Gallery
Aviation Timeline
Search Our Site

  Aviation History

Aviation History Magazine  6 issues

Click Here to Buy


  Distributor List


  General Interest
 Glider For Sale
 Current News
 Find Military Buddies
 Open Your E-mail
 Today In History

  Sign In - MORE INFO.

•  Sign Guest Book
•  Read Guest Book

  Contact Us

•  Website Only:
B2B or Webmaster

•  2005 Ad Rates

Click to bookmark Aviation History

  The Bravest Heroes

IAFF Online
•  IAFF Online
•  FDNY History
•  Rev. Mychal Judge
•  Mail Safety - USPS

  Aviation History - Aerospace News


  Aviation and Technology News

Monday, March 24, 2003 5:05 PM

NASA: Columbia's Data Recorder Promising

Photo: AP

An early look at the magnetic tape from the space shuttle Columbia's salvaged data recorder offered hope that it was in good enough shape to yield some information about the doomed flight, NASA said Monday.

Discovered in east Texas on Wednesday, the recorder held 9,400 feet of tape that was stretched and broken in one spot but otherwise in good condition, said NASA spokesman James Hartsfield.

"Right now, the potential for there to be data available to us looks promising," he said.

The recorder _ potentially the most significant piece of debris found yet _ is in the laboratory of a Minnesota company that specializes in magnetic data storage, and its tape is being painstakingly cleaned.

NASA believes the tape stopped recording about the time the shuttle broke apart above Texas on Feb. 1, killing all seven astronauts. It had recorded Columbia's launch 16 days earlier and was activated again for the start of descent.

The recorder was collecting data from about 800 sensors on the fuselage, wings, tail and engines, and measuring temperature, pressure, strain, vibration, acoustics and acceleration, Hartsfield said.

The accident investigation board suspects Columbia's left wing was breached, possibly by flyaway foam insulation or other fuel-tank debris during liftoff, and that the scorching gases of atmospheric re-entry burned through wiring in the wing and penetrated the left landing gear compartment.

Late Friday night, NASA shipped the recorder to Imation Corp. in Oakdale, Minn., a leading manufacturer of data storage tape with 50 years of experience.

"The majority of tape on the take-up reel appears in very good shape," he said. "They're just starting to work with it now, but I can tell you that there's optimism from the visible appearance."

Once the tape is cleaned and stabilized by Imation, hopefully this week, it will be sent to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, where the playback and dubbing equipment is located. The dubbed tapes subsequently will be sent to Johnson Space Center in Houston for analysis.

An Imation spokesman, Brad Allen, said the company has worked with NASA before.

So far, about 45,000 pieces of shuttle wreckage have been found and shipped to Kennedy. That represents about 54,000 pounds, or 24 percent of the weight of the descending shuttle.

The investigation board, meanwhile, will be in Cape Canaveral this week for its third round of public hearings. Kennedy officials will discuss, among other things, the collection and layout of Columbia debris at the space center.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

In The News: Shuttle Columbia,

  Tsunami Relief - How To Help - Donation Information

Tsunami Relief -

The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations.


Home  |  Guestbook  |  Contact Us  |  Advertise With Us  |  LINKS - Add URL
Using: Paid Inclusion Host 1998 - 2005 Aviation History .org / All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy.