First, a computer intended to be placed aboard Shuttle Endeavor for its upcoming mission was found to have been sabotaged. Now, it seems that the shuttle has sprung a leak, and the mission, which is scheduled for August 7, may have to be delayed. But the larger question is, was the leak another act of sabotage, and if so, who wants this mission to fail, and why?

CNN reports that NASA discovered the leak over the weekend and tightened a bolt to fix it, but further testing shows that air is still escaping from the crew cabin. One of the astronauts on board will be ex-school teacher Barbara Morgan, who was Christa McAuliffe’s backup in 1986. McAuliffe was one of the seven astronauts killed along when the Challenger broke up 73 seconds after takeoff.
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Newswise – Not all life was lost in the Columbia breakup during thespace shuttle’s reentry into the Earth?s atmosphere on Feb.1, 2003. Hundreds of tiny worms onboard for an experimentsurvived the tragedy. This bolsters the evidence that lifemay travel between planets on meteors and that life may havebeen “seeded” here from Mars billions of years ago, makingus all Martians.
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The engineers who decided the space shuttle Columbia could safely return to Earth were studying the wrong computer model. Their analysis, carried out during the flight, concluded that little harm had been done by the piece of foam came off the fuel tank during lift-off. But former astronaut Sally Ride, who is investigating the accident, says the computer model they used wasn’t accurate. When a group of Boeing engineers carrying out a computer analysis during the flight realized they needed more data about where the foam had hit, they asked NASA to take pictures of the orbiting shuttle to assess the potential damage?but no pictures were ever taken. “I’m think I’m hearing an echo here,” Ride says, referring to the earlier Challenger explosion.
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The space shuttle Columbia started shedding debris as it flew over California, but these crucial first pieces may never be found, because they probably burned up in the atmosphere. To survive the descent to the ground, debris would have “to be a pretty substantial piece of the shuttle itself,” says Jim Hallock, of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. This means that the reason for the breakup of the shuttle may never be known.
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