This is gripping, horrifying, and tragic. It's the final report on the spaceshuttle Columbia's catastrophic re-entry in 2003, complete with acronyms (CMCE: Crew Module Catastrophic Event). In some ways its coldness and technicality is a way of respecting the privacy of the deceased [a number of redacted sections at the end also keep personal details private]. But its second by second account has an inexorable fatalism, watching a disaster unfold in slow motion (watching technology fail) knowing there's nothing you can do. In the end the crew didn't suffer. But man, reading this really hits me hard.
4 days ago