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Ball bearings in orbit - anything with closure rates at 17,000 mph will do a hell of a lot of damage.
Originally posted by MickeyDee
The falling parts of Columbia were still moving in the direction the shuttle reentered the atmosphere. If it had been shot it would have just blew up and fell straight down to earth.
We are talking about a smart needle hitting a hypervelocity haystack, producing the undetected hole that brought the orbiter down. The theory is that 'insulation' was a cover story.