NASA marks the 15th anniversary of the Space Shuttle disaster - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

NASA marks the 15th anniversary of the Space Shuttle disaster

The seven astronauts on the Columbia lost their lives 15 years ago. (Source: NASA/CNN) The seven astronauts on the Columbia lost their lives 15 years ago. (Source: NASA/CNN)

(CNN) – Fifteen years ago, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up over Texas as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere.

The craft was the oldest shuttle in NASA's fleet and had completed 27 previous missions.

Investigators said Columbia broke up during re-entry.

The board determined that a piece of foam broke shortly after lift-off and formed a hole in the shuttle's left wing.

A report said engineers noticed the break and thought it could lead to a problem.

However, management didn't think the incident was a serious enough issue.

All seven crew members died in the accident: Rick D. Husband, Commander; William C. McCool, Pilot; Michael P. Anderson, Payload Commander; David M. Brown, Mission Specialist 1; Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist 2; Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Mission Specialist 4; and Ilan Ramon, Payload Specialist 1.

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