from wikinews: NASA has issued a report on survivability during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, entitled "Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report" [16.3mb PDF]. Although the report finds the accident was impossible to survive, it still faulted a number of design issues with the astronauts' equipment.
The accident investigation report was released in 2003, the year of the crash. During launch on January 16, the spacecraft's wing was holed when a chunk of foam detached and struck it. The shuttle then broke up on re-entry on February 1 over Texas, killing the seven on board.
This new report reveals details of what happened to the astronauts during the accident sequence, although some parts have remained confidential to the victims' families. The report reveals that within seconds of the breakup commencing the crew became unconscious due to the rapid depressurization and that they never regained consciousness prior to their deaths.