The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Crash trail

Unlucky seven

Chandigarh (PTI): The number seven has proved to be unlucky for both the ill-fated space shuttle Columbia and Indian-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla who died when the spaceship exploded shortly after entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

The number seven and 16 — that adds up to seven — have proved fatal for the two, Chandigarh-based astrologer Madan Gupta Spathu said here on Monday.

The total number of astronauts aboard Columbia was seven and the date of launch was January 16, adding up to seven (6+1) again, he said.

Moreover, the total number of days of the mission, 16, also total seven, Spathu added. The explosion took place 16 minutes before the scheduled touchdown, which again adds up to seven. Columbia was due for landing at 7.45 pm IST and the sum total of 7, 4 and 5 is 16, whose sum in turn is seven.

In what seems to be a strange coincidence, the last contact the spaceship had with its Earth station at Nasa was at 7.27 pm IST, that again adds up to 16 and further to seven. According to reports, Columbia exploded at 9.43 am American time, adding up to 16 and then seven.

Kalpana was also influenced by the digit seven in her life, the astrologer said. Her name has seven alphabets, Spathu pointed out. She was 42, going on 43, again totalling to seven. Moreover, she was born on January 7, 1961. Her date of birth — 7.1.1961 — adds up to 25 and finally to seven.

Russia launch

Kazakhstan (Reuters): A Russian cargo rocket carrying food and fuel blasted off for the International Space Station on Sunday, a day after Columbia broke up. “The launch has gone ahead as planned. So far, everything is fine,” said a spokesman at ground control outside Moscow. Russian experts, speaking at the launch of the Progress rocket at Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in the Kazakh steppe, said the Columbia disaster could be a serious setback for the 16-nation ISS agenda.

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