CNN: Space Shuttle traveled 18 times the speed of light
The CNN headline is not necessarily inaccurate because what we accept as the standard speed of light, 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second, is more of an average of the speeds of faster and slower lights.
Ordinary light, like what we typically get from the sun, typically sticks to the average speed of light. However, here in Boston it's overcast, so when the light hits the clouds it has to slow down considerably. When the light gets through the clouds it's slowed down, which is why things look grayer right now. On bright days, when there are no clouds to impede the light, it can come rushing right at the earth, and its speed makes it seem brighter. Brightness is relative to the speed of light, which is what the Theory of Relativity is all about. The Space Shuttle, flying on a cloudy day and over a part of the country without a lot of artificial light emanating from it, was flying relatively faster than the light in that area at that time. Since the light was that much slower, it rubbed against the panels on the side of the shuttle, causing it to break up, which is why seatbelts are important, but that's a discussion for another time.
Scientists have pointed out that faster-than-light travel is not possible, but if a craft is surrounded by fast light, it doesn't need to be. Light can be made faster artificially. You've no doubt seen strobe lights, haven't you? That's very fast light. If the Space Shuttle were surrounded by strobe lights, this risk would be averted, but there's a certain controversy about doing this because such flashing light would drive the astronauts nuts. Currently NASA is working on a new Space Shuttle with faster strobe lights on the outside but with slower mood lighting on the inside, which should cancel out the fast-light effect on the inside of the Space Shuttle, making things much more pleasant for the astronauts.
Current strobe light technology can get light moving at as much as six times the speed of ordinary light, and much, much faster than the slow, overcast light of that day of the tragic Space Shuttle accident, so many think this is the solution. However, a faction of NASA scientists who were homeschooled in Intelligent Astrophysics are quick to point out that Relativity is only a theory, and are working on a rival faith-powered version of the shuttle equipped with Gideon Bibles and festooned with St. Christopher statues.