hard drive survives Columbia shuttle crash
Ability to retrieve data from old "destroyed" hard disks? How about this -- 99% of hard disk data recovered after Columbia crash:
Not mentioned if it was run-of-the-mill 24x7 enterprise/military model from X+5 years ago certified for space X years ago, or a premium line of 400M Seagate purpose-built for NASA? (either way, obvious publicity for Seagate?)
Tragic event it was, so many lessons learned. Highly recommend to read-up on the Columbia accident commission review and formal analysis of failure points. Enlightening. This late hard-disk data retrieval adds a memorable perspective to the "lessons learned" chapter.
Institutions suck at anticipation: usually takes a disaster (or large series of lesser accidents) to dig-out procedural, technical, or esp. systemic failures, and progress from findings. No amount of prior warning can do.
...now, where are those bloody disks with financial records crossed with medical check results from the Trans-Atlantic ACME Insurance Corp? Didn't Jake from HMRC promise they would be quietly posted last week???