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Retired Space Officials: Shuttle's Wings Fragile

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Retired Space Officials: Shuttle's Wings Fragile

U.S.

Retired Space Officials: Shuttle's Wings Fragile

Retired Space Officials: Shuttle's Wings Fragile

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1242325/1242326" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

At a public hearing into the space shuttle Columbia disaster, retired space program officials tell investigators that the orbiter's wings could not been expected to withstand falling debris — a suspected factor in Columbia's Feb. 1 demise. The officials say the carbon panels that line the leading edge of the shuttle's wings were not designed to absorb any significant blow. Hear NPR's Richard Harris.