Columbia and Crew
The STS-107 crew, from left: Mission Specialist David Brown, Commander
Rick Husband, Mission Specialists Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla and
Michael Anderson, Pilot William McCool and Payload Specialist Ilan
letters and statements
from the families.
the Condolence Book.
returning from orbit on Feb. 1, 2003, Space Shuttle Columbia and
all seven STS-107 crewmembers were lost over north central Texas.
Columbia was returning from a 16-day scientific research mission.
the days that followed, thousands of messages poured into NASA's
Human Space Flight Web, and some of those have found their way to
the Condolence Book. People all over
the world expressed their sympathy and sent messages of hope to
the families of the lost crew and to the members of the NASA Family.
those of you who sent us a message, the
NASA Family says "Thank you." We are profoundly grateful
for your kind thoughts and encouragement. One wish most commonly
expressed is that NASA should continue its mission, sending humans
safely into space to explore and to share a bright hope for the
future -- the hope that people of many nations can work together
in peace to extend humanity's reach to the stars.
Feb. 12, during a congressional hearing into the Columbia accident,
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said, "We have an opportunity here
and now to learn from this loss, and renew the boundless spirit
of exploration present at NASA's beginning. We will do this by being
accountable to the American people for our failings and, we hope,
credible and compelling in pursuit of research, exploration and
inspiration for future generations."