NASA's Space Shuttle 'Columbia': Quick Facts and Issues for Congress [Updated February 24, 2003] [open pdf - 39KB]
"On February 1, 2003, NASA's Space Shuttle 'Columbia' broke apart while returning to Earth from a 16-day science mission in orbit. All seven astronauts -- six Americans and one Israeli -- were killed. An investigation is underway. This report provides quick facts about 'Columbia', her crew, the STS-107 mission, the status of the investigation, and a brief discussion of issues for Congress. Additional information on the space shuttle program is available in CRS [Congressional Research Service] Issue Brief IB93062. CRS Reports RS21411 and RS21419 describe space shuttle funding, and provide excerpts from recent reports and hearings on shuttle safety, respectively. This report will be updated often."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21408