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Crew of STS-107
Crew of STS-107

The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was a fatal accident in the NASA Space Shuttle program on February 1, 2003. During the launch of the STS-107 mission, foam insulation from the Space Shuttle external tank fell and damaged the thermal protection system of the orbiter. During atmospheric reentry at the end of the mission, the damage allowed hot gases to penetrate the heat shield and destroy the internal wing structure. The orbiter broke apart inflight, killing all seven astronauts on board (crew pictured). Debris was scattered over eastern Texas and Louisiana, and a massive recovery effort was launched to recover debris and crew remains. The accident resulted in a two-year hiatus for the Space Shuttle program, and an investigation into its cause discovered that NASA had become accustomed to insulation foam hitting the orbiter on previous missions. The accident contributed to the eventual cancellation and retirement of the Space Shuttle, which last flew in 2011. (Full article...)

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Embriachi marriage casket
Embriachi marriage casket

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Petr Pavel in 2020
Petr Pavel

On this day

February 1: Saint Brigid's Day/Imbolc in Ireland; the Fajr decade begins in Iran; Black History Month begins in North America

Skyline of Kuala Lumpur
Skyline of Kuala Lumpur
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Today's featured picture

La bohème

La bohème is an opera in four acts composed by Giacomo Puccini between 1893 and 1895 to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème (1851) by Henri Murger. The opera, which had its world premiere on 1 February 1896 in Turin, is set in Paris around 1830 and shows the Bohemian lifestyle of the poor seamstress Mimì and her artist friends, including Rodolfo, Marcello and Musetta. This 1895 poster was produced by Adolfo Hohenstein for the publishing house G. Ricordi & C. to advertise the musical score of La bohème, and depicts Mimì and Rodolfo at the end of the opera's third act. Knowing that Mimì is dying and Rodolfo is too poor to help her, but too much in love to separate, they agree to remain together until the spring, when the world is coming to life again and no one feels truly alone. Meanwhile, Marcello and Musetta quarrel about Musetta's flirtatiousness in counterpoint to the other pair's reconciliation.

Poster cr: Adolfo Hohenstein; restored by Adam Cuerden

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