Stuff like this shouldn't bother me,...but it does. Basically, a diary kept by one of the crew members of the Space Shuttle Columbia was found two months after the crash in Palestine, Texas.
The diary survived extreme heat in the explosion, extreme atmospheric cold, and
then "was attacked by microorganisms and insects" in the field where it fell,
said museum curator Yigal Zalmona.
"It's almost a miracle that it survived —
it's incredible," Zalmona said. There is "no rational explanation" for
how it was recovered when most of the shuttle was not, he said.
Ok. I understand that this journal worked better than a fabled Timex ("takes a licking and keeps on ticking"), but that doesn't make it a miracle. It's no more miraculous that the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of mission manuals and hard copy paper reports that they found during the first year after the disaster. I liken this to the phenomena where you can have a tornado rip through a neighborhood and you come home to find a china figurine on the very shelf you left it on, totally untouched. It happens. It's cool. But, it's not a miracle. Miraculous would've been finding the crew members sitting in a Texas field alive and well the day of the disaster. Also, I'm no expert, but isn't paper pretty hearty? I mean, we've got paper that dates back thousands of years in some cases. Joe Citizen can buy special papers for scrapbooks and archival hobbies that stand up to the elements. And, I would imagine the ink was some "space aged" technology. You can buy scrapbook pens for $2 a pop that won't run or fade. Seems kind of silly to imagine NASA wouldn't have something similar or better. Why is this so "miraculous"? Saying there's "no rational explanation" seems pretty out there to me.
I've read a few articles discussing the nature of the shuttle's break up. Most of the discussions concur that the shuttle began breaking up after it went through the serious heat. Any journal would've been stowed in a bag or locker on an internal deck. Not on a luggage rack on top of the shuttle.
Yes. You can call me Captain Cynical.