2003: On 1 February 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia was lost and seven NASA astronauts perished.
Space Shuttle Columbia was launched on 16 January 2003 on a 16-day scientific mission. On 1 February 2003, during re-entry, communications with the Space Shuttle were lost. At this time, the Orbiter was flying over Texas, about 15 minutes from landing and at about 18 times the speed of sound.
Video films show the spacecraft following a constant track and apparently slowly disintegrating. Debris was found over a large area of East Texas and Louisiana.