I previously posted my teory about what caused the loss of the Columbia - namely, that the left landing gear door opened over the coast of California. In the comments on that post, several people pointed out flaws in that theory, rendering it less likely.
However, NASA just released some interesting news:
In NASA's latest telemetry timeline (revision 12.1), at least one sensor recorded landing gear deployment at 8:59:06 a.m., a full 26 seconds before contact with Columbia was lost. Reliable sources close to the investigation said today the telemetry is believed to be the result of a sensor failure, or "bit flip," and not any indication of an actual deployment.
How do they know it was a "blip" ? And I still havent been able tor econcile this with the timeline, 26 seconds is right over Texas, not California. Still, this certainly sheds more light on the wheel well.