I just found this on the NYT. Strangely, it's not anywhere near being a major headline. It's buried away on the National (and linked to the science) page. It also seems to be a day old, but it's the first I've heard of it. Did I just miss the big announcement?
http://nytimes.com/2003/02/14/nation...al/14SHUT.html (requires registration)
Anyway, the initial findings say that missing tiles would not have been enough to cause the sensor readings, there had to be an actual hole in Columbia's wing to let hot plasma in. It also says that the first indications came much earlier than originally thought. They still aren't exactly sure where the hole was on the wing either.
So now speculation seems to be on what caused the hole. Was it the insulation during liftoff? Or a micrometeor puncture? At least it's eliminated some theories.
Edit: Here's a CNN link g99 just posted in another thread. I guess this is just coming out after all.
"If we die, we want people to accept it. We're in a risky business and we hope if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life." -Gus Grissom
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David Hall on 2003-02-14 16:22 ]</font>