NASA Manager who led Columbia Mission Dismissed Foam Danger - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

07/22/03 - Johnson Space Center

NASA Manager who led Columbia Mission Dismissed Foam Danger

The top NASA manager for space shuttle "Columbia's" final mission quickly dismissed the danger from a foam strike on launch.

Newly released transcripts show Linda Ham said, "The foam wouldn't do any damage."

In transcripts of five management team meetings during Columbia's flight, Ham compared the strike on the left wing to a similar incident in a previous shuttle launch.

Officials say a piece of foam that hit "Atlantis" in an October launch caused just minor damage.

NASA flight managers didn't know at the time that the piece of foam that hit Columbia was the biggest ever to hit a shuttle during launch.

The investigation team trying to discover what caused Columbia to tear up on re-entry February first has focused on wing damage from the foam.

Investigators believe wing damage allowed superheated air to penetrate the hull, leading to the catastrophe.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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