HOUSTON, TX– (CNN) 10 years ago on Feb 1, 2003 the shuttle Columbia crumbled to Earth after 16 days in the heavens.
It started as a dot — a bright, white star that raced across the Southwest.
Over Texas, the dot became a streak that thickened, then spawned smaller streaks.
A decade ago, 200,000 feet above Texas, the space shuttle Columbia broke apart on re-entry.
All seven astronauts aboard died.
Controllers lost contact with Columbia at 8:59 a.m. ET, about 15 minutes before it had been expected to land at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Shuttle commander Rick Husband’s wife Evelyn, who was waiting for him there, feared the worst