Diary of a non-miracle

By Phil Plait | October 24, 2008 10:00 am

I usually like to keep things light on Fridays, but this is too good to keep until Monday. Moriel Schotttlander has written up an account of how the Shuttle Columbia astronaut Ilan Ramon’s personal diary survived (more or less) the disintegration of the Shuttle.

A curator of the Israeli Museum called this event "a miracle". It’s hard to know if he was being literal or not, but Moriel does an excellent job showing exactly how this is no miracle, and in fact might even be expected.

I’ll note the diary landed in mud, making the pages very difficult to examine and read. That’s not terribly miraculous. And, of course, if it’s a miracle that the diary made it, what does that say about the deaths of seven astronauts and the destruction of their billion-dollar machine?

Some miracle.

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