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Glenn Mahone/Doc Mirelson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1898/1600)

February 02, 2004
RELEASE : 04-049
NASA Dedicates Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial
The families of the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 crew and NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today unveiled a monument commemorating the astronauts and their mission at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

Administrator O'Keefe said, "This memorial will remind us of the dedication and sacrifice made by those brave individuals willing to risk their own lives to further humanity's knowledge about space exploration." "Our obligation is to ensure their loss was not in vain. We will return the Space Shuttle to flight as safe as humanly possible, and we will continue to lead humanity into the unknown," Administrator O'Keefe said.

The Space Shuttle Columbia was commanded by Rick Husband and piloted by William McCool. The mission specialists were Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark; and the payload specialist was Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. On February 1, 2003, the Columbia and crew were lost over the western United States during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. The 28th and final flight of Columbia (STS-107) was a 16-day mission dedicated to research in physical, life and space sciences.

In April President Bush signed into law the Columbia Orbiter Memorial Act (PL 108-11). The Secretary of the Army, in consultation with NASA and Arlington National Cemetery coordinated design and creation of the memorial. The Vermont marble memorial unveiled today is 66 inches tall and 48 inches wide. It bears two bronze plaques portraying the Columbia's crew and the shoulder patch worn by the astronauts on their mission. It is located near the Space Shuttle Challenger memorial. Photos of the memorial will be available on the Internet, at:


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