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NASA Discounts Tile Damage in Columbia Disaster

NASA's investigation into the Columbia disaster is wide open, the agency saying there's insufficient evidence that damaged heat tiles caused the crash. Meanwhile, another memorial service is held for the crew, and future manned science missions come under scrutiny as critics argue that most of the work doesn't need humans at all. Hear from NPR's Richard Harris and NPR's Joe Palca.

Copyright 2003 NPR

Joe Palca is a science correspondent for NPR. Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, "Joe's Big Idea." Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors. Palca is also the founder of NPR Scicommers – A science communication collective.
Award-winning journalist Richard Harris has reported on a wide range of topics in science, medicine and the environment since he joined NPR in 1986. In early 2014, his focus shifted from an emphasis on climate change and the environment to biomedical research.