Feature

Shuttle clues

The week's news at a glance.

Houston

Investigators this week began trying to recover data from the space shuttle Columbia’s flight recorder, which was found in surprisingly good condition. A search crew came across the recorder last week in a wooded area in East Texas. The tape inside was stretched and broken in spots, but did not appear to have been damaged by heat in the fiery crash. Investigators hope the tape will provide clues to help them determine why the shuttle broke apart on Feb. 1 during its descent, killing all seven astronauts on board. “It is another piece of the puzzle,” a NASA official said. The space agency is awaiting recommendations from the board investigating the disaster so that it can make safety adjustments on the three remaining shuttles, and get them back into space. NASA administrators hope to launch the next mission as early as this fall.

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