The family of STS-107 Astronaut David M. Brown has asked NASA to issue the following statement:
"Thousands of people, including Shuttle debris searchers, NASA personnel, the public, and the accident investigation board helped to determine what happened to the Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew. Together they produced this well-documented report. We are indebted to all of them. We all benefit from this hindsight.
"NASA contingency planners conceived of an outline for an investigation board and its general membership, and thus set fact-finding off to a fast start. The space planners also foresaw a need for assigning NASA astronauts to assist each family. We are very grateful for their help.
"The crew accepted the risk of space flight, because they believed in their scientific mission. Their scientific work was not in vain. One report estimates the known completion of the Columbia crew's scientific investigations to be 60 to 70 percent.
"The little boy who chased butterflies grew up to be a space explorer. We miss him terribly. Hundreds and hundreds of letters of sympathy and support have helped in this time of grief. We thank the writers wholeheartedly.
"Now it is time to study and implement the report, and to resume exploration. As David said of a possible catastrophe, 'The program will go on. It must go on.'"
Paul & Dorothy Brown, parents
Douglas R. Brown, brother
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