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Space shuttle Columbia's second life - as a cautionary tale

Photographer
PIERRE DUCHARME

The space shuttle Columbia lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, reflected in salt marsh swamps surrounding the pad in this file photo from January 16, 2003. February 1, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary since the orbiter broke apart in the skies over Texas, killing the crew of seven astronauts. Columbia broke up as it re-entered the atmosphere because of damage to the leading edge of the left wing....more

The space shuttle Columbia lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, reflected in salt marsh swamps surrounding the pad in this file photo from January 16, 2003. February 1, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary since the orbiter broke apart in the skies over Texas, killing the crew of seven astronauts. Columbia broke up as it re-entered the atmosphere because of damage to the leading edge of the left wing. REUTERS/Pierre DuCharme/Files
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Photographer
JIM BOURG

Swati Narayan of Houston, who said she was a friend of several of the astronauts, reacts emotionally as she looks at the impromptu memorial that has developed outside the front gate of the Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston in this file photo from February 3, 2003. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Swati Narayan of Houston, who said she was a friend of several of the astronauts, reacts emotionally as she looks at the impromptu memorial that has developed outside the front gate of the Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston in this file photo from February 3, 2003. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
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Photographer
JASON REED

NASA space shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore holds a piece of insulation foam to describe how a piece of insulation hit the underside of the shuttle during the craft's liftoff, during a NASA briefing in Houston in this file photo from February 5, 2003. REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files

NASA space shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore holds a piece of insulation foam to describe how a piece of insulation hit the underside of the shuttle during the craft's liftoff, during a NASA briefing in Houston in this file photo from February 5, 2003. REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files
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Photographer
KARL RONSTROM

File photo showing the space shuttle Columbia during lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida January 16, 2003. Columbia carried a crew of seven, including Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli to travel on the space shuttle during it's 16-day and final mission. REUTERS/Karl Ronstrom/Files

File photo showing the space shuttle Columbia during lift-off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida January 16, 2003. Columbia carried a crew of seven, including Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli to travel on the space shuttle during it's 16-day and final mission. REUTERS/Karl Ronstrom/Files
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Photographer
RICK WILKING

A road sign along I-30 in Dallas, Texas asks the public to call in locations of space shuttle Columbia debris in this file photo from February 1, 2003. Many parts of the shuttle along with human remains were found scattered across north Texas. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/Files

A road sign along I-30 in Dallas, Texas asks the public to call in locations of space shuttle Columbia debris in this file photo from February 1, 2003. Many parts of the shuttle along with human remains were found scattered across north Texas. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/Files
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Photographer
JEFF MITCHELL

Brittany Gloor of Jasper, Texas takes a snapshot of a huge piece of space shuttle debris found by authorities outside Hemphill, Texas in this file photo from February 2, 2003. Authorities continue to search a huge debris field looking for pieces of the Space Shuttle Columbia after it broke apart during re-entry. REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell/Files

Brittany Gloor of Jasper, Texas takes a snapshot of a huge piece of space shuttle debris found by authorities outside Hemphill, Texas in this file photo from February 2, 2003. Authorities continue to search a huge debris field looking for pieces of the Space Shuttle Columbia after it broke apart during re-entry. REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell/Files
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Photographer
NASA

In the RLV Hangar, the floor grid is marked with a growing number of pieces of Columbia debris in this NASA handout photo dated March 13, 2003. The Columbia Reconstruction Project Team will attempt to reconstruct the orbiter as part of the investigation into the accident that caused the destruction of Columbia and loss of its crew as it returned to Earth on mission STS-107. February 1, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary since the...more

In the RLV Hangar, the floor grid is marked with a growing number of pieces of Columbia debris in this NASA handout photo dated March 13, 2003. The Columbia Reconstruction Project Team will attempt to reconstruct the orbiter as part of the investigation into the accident that caused the destruction of Columbia and loss of its crew as it returned to Earth on mission STS-107. February 1, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary since the orbiter broke apart in the skies over Texas, killing the crew of seven astronauts. Columbia broke up as it re-entered the atmosphere because of damage to the leading edge of the left wing. REUTERS/NASA/Handout
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