When space shuttle Columbia crashed over Texas on Feb 1, 2003, it also took with it hard disk with critical data from experiments carried out in space. Finally scientists have managed to recover data from that hard disk.
The hard drive was onboard when the shuttle disintegrated 39 miles up, while travelling at a speed of 12,500mph.
Ontrack Data Recovery in Minneapolis performed a series of tests and have recovered 99 percent of the data.
The drive contained the results of the Critical Viscosity of Xenon (CVX-2) experiment, which studied the movement of gas particles in zero gravity. The experiment was set up as part of a 20-year study into the movement of xenon and has finally been published in Physical Review E.
Robert Berg, lead investigator for CVX-2, and a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology said:
We assumed that it fell out of the cage and burned up. It was a load off my shoulders to finally get it published.
Data recovery specialists are becoming increasingly adept at finding and collating data from seemingly wiped hard drives.