The Shuttle Columbia disaster has defined modern spaceflight and, indeed, space policy. Much has been written about the event itself, its causes, and its fallout. Here are some of our recommendations for further reading.

The first and best resource relating to the Columbia disaster is undoubtedly the CAIB report. This wide ranging documents reaches beyond the immediate foam impact that brought down STS-107 looking into the technical and political origins of the Shuttle, it’s funding and management profiles, and the implications of the Challenger disaster. Download the report or purchase the Kindle version to the right.

Veteran space journalists Michael Cabbage and Bill Harwood take a good look at the Columbia disaster from beginning to end in “Comm Check…: The Final Flight of Columbia.” The book tells the human story of this tragedy without skimping on the technical details. Written in 2008 at a time when the future of NASA was very much open to discussion, this work brings an immediacy to the inner workings that led to the loss of STS-107. Expert or novice, this makes a good addition to your Columbia reading list.


Have we missed your favorite publication on the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster? Send us your recommendation along with a brief review and we’ll take a look.


About the author

Merryl Azriel

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Having wandered into professional writing and editing after a decade in engineering, science, and management, Merryl now enjoys reintegrating the dichotomy by bringing space technology and policy within reach of an interested public. After three years as Space Safety Magazine’s Managing Editor, Merryl semi-retired to Visiting Contributor and manager of the campaign to bring the International Space Station collaboration to the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. She keeps her pencil sharp as Proposal Manager for U.S. government contractor CSRA.

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