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The recording of the last conversation with "Columbia" was published

 The recording of the last conversation with "Columbia" was published 

 The American space agency published yesterday (Tuesday) the recordings of the communication that took place during the process of the entry of the shuttle "Columbia" into the atmosphere, between the various officials in the control center in Houston, and between the flight controllers and the shuttle crew. In the recordings, you can hear, among other things, the response of the control personnel to the problems that began to accumulate in the minutes before the shuttle disintegrated.

The first sign that something had gone wrong with the landing process came from Jeff Kling, the maintenance officer at NASA's Control Center, who was monitoring the shuttle's entry into the atmosphere. "FYI, I just lost four temperature gauges on the left side of the shuttle, the hydraulics sensors," he reported calmly.

The flight director in the control center, Leroy Kane, sounded a little surprised but calm: "Do they have anything in common?", he asked, "I mean, you say you lost them all at the exact same time."

"No, not exactly," answered Kling, "they were lost within four or five seconds of each other."

Kling noticed the first malfunction just minutes before contact with the spacecraft was lost. A few seconds later, the flight director reported a slight problem with the shuttle's steering, but expressed no concern for its condition.

"Until now we are controlling the ferry in a stable manner," said the voice of the navigation officer in Houston, Mike Safarin, "I don't see anything unusual." Despite all the problems that had accumulated, no one, neither in the control center nor on the shuttle, suspected that something bad was about to happen.

As the seconds passed before the shuttle landed in Florida, several other sensors on the shuttle body stopped working, and in the control center they continued to search for a common denominator between them. The shuttle crew was informed that the left tire pressure gauge had disappeared from the displays. Rick Husband, the crew chief, began to respond: "Ruth. Ah…” But here his voice was cut off by a static noise.

For many minutes the control team tried to renew contact with the "Columbia". Neither of them knew that at that time thousands of people across Texas could already see parts of the shuttle scattering across the sky. When it became clear to Kane, the flight director in the control center, that the shuttle was lost, he was heard instructing all the flight controllers to follow the pages in the operations booklet detailing the steps to be taken in the event of a disaster.


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