When Columbia disintegrated above Texas on 1 February 2003, killing her seven-member crew, NASA not only lost its flagship Shuttle but also the chance to send her to the International Space Station. For years, Columbia had been restricted to non-station missions because she was the heaviest of the orbiters and, even with major modifications, could not be trimmed down sufficiently to easily carry large components to the orbital complex. Had she landed safely on 1 February after STS-107, however, that restriction would have been lifted and she would have begun processing in earnest for her first trip to the station.
KeywordsInternational Space Station Mission Control Tethered Satellite Tether Satellite System Shuttle Mission
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