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Columbia: The Investigation

Note: This story will be updated as new information is available.

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Statement from Columbia Crew's Families
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NASA and other federal officials continue to work round-the-clock to find the cause of the explosion of space shuttle Columbia. The latest important announcement has been the recovery of the shuttle's flight data recorder, the equivalent of an airplane's "black box." Officials hope that they can learn much more about what caused the accident from this data recorder.

Searchers found the discovery heartening, especially since most of what they had found so far had been of little value in discovering the cause of the explosion. Depression and frustration had begun to set in for some of the searchers, and the discovery of the "black box" gave them new hope and new determination.

It was found in Texas, in a heavily wooded pine stand surrounded by 3-foot thorn bushes. The recorder could hold temperature and aerodynamic information about the shuttle. Officials are not sure whether they can recover information from the magnetic recorder, but they are certainly willing to try.

With the astronauts buried, an investigation still ongoing, and a nation at war halfway across the world, the search for the cause of the Columbia explosion continued, with searchers continuing to piece together the tiny pieces of an enormous puzzle.

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