Columbia Tragedy A Setback For Science

Space shuttle Columbia was returning from a rare mission purely devoted to space science when it burned up in the morning sky high above Texas on Saturday. The catastrophe, which claimed seven lives, also dealt a devastating blow to scientists eager to conduct research in the weightlessness of space.

“There are no projects in the present cue that could compare to the Columbia mission we just had,” said Kenneth Baldwin, a professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of California at Irvine.