Data recorder taped shuttle's last seconds

An experimental data recorder aboard the space shuttle Columbia continued to record potentially vital information until moments before the shuttle disintegrated during re-entry, investigators say.

During duplication of the magnetic tape from the recorder, investigators saw that it continued to store data up to 14 seconds after the final telemetry was broadcast from the shuttle to ground control. NASA believes the main body of the shuttle began breaking apart just three seconds later at 1400 GMT on 1 February.