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A Tribute to the Crew of STS-107 - 16 Minutes from Home
1.27.04
 
(Background music plays)

George Diller: On February first 2003 communication with Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew was lost.

Mission Control: Columbia Houston UHF comm check...

George Diller: They were 16 minutes from home...

Missions Control: Columbia Houston UHF comm check...
Columbia Houston UHF comm check...

Capt. Robert Crippen: "Columbia was hardly a thing of beauty except to those of us who loved and cared for her. She was often badmouthed for being a little heavy in the rear end. But many of us can relate to that. Many said she was old and past her prime, still she only lived nearly a quarter of her design life. Columbia still had a great many missions ahead of her. She along with the crew had her life snuffed out in her prime. Just as her crew has Columbia has left us quite a legacy....hail Columbia."

President George W. Bush: (From his speech during the Johnson Space Center Memorial)
"Their mission was almost complete, and we lost them so close to home. The men and women of the Columbia had journeyed more than six million miles and were minutes away from arrival and reunion. The loss was sudden and terrible and for their families the grief is heavy. This cause of exploration and discovery is not an option we choose it is a desire written in the human heart. We are that part of creation which seeks to understand all creation. We find the best among us, send them forth into unmapped darkness and pray they will return. They go in peace for all mankind and all mankind is in their debt."

(As a Naval bell is rung each of the astronaut's names are displayed on the screen with their picture)

Rick Husband - Commander
William McCool - Pilot
Michael Anderson - Mission Specialist
Laurel Clark - Mission Specialist
David Brown - Mission Specialist
Kalpana Chawla - Mission Specialist
Ilan Ramon - Mission Specialist

President George W. Bush: "Our journey into space will go on. In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther than we can see there is comfort and hope."

(As each of the astronauts are given tribute their images are displayed on the screen)

Capt. Kent V. Rominger: (From his speech during the Johnson Space Center Memorial)
"Rick was a terrific human being and a great leader. He was my pilot on his first flight. I grew to really appreciate all of his talents, his gifts, and laugh at all of his Amarillo sayings. His favorite saying, and I can hear him saying it right now, is, 'You know, I feel more now like I did than when I first got here.' "

Col. James Halsell: (From his speech during the Kennedy Space Center Memorial)
"Willie McCool. Laurel described Willie as an eight-year-old trapped in a ten-year-old's body. Now, partly this referred to the fact that Willie was -- had the genes from somewhere that made him look like a ten year old, his young appearance, but mainly it was a comment on Willie's almost boyish attitude."

Col. Robert Cabana: (From his speech during the Memorial at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.)
"Captain Dave Brown, United States Navy, not only a medical doctor but a naval aviator and an astronaut on top of that. He lived to explore, to do research, to find knew cures, and he was fulfilled working in the laboratory aboard Columbia."

Capt. Kent V. Rominger: (From his speech during the Johnson Space Center Memorial)
"Kalpana, or K.C. to her friends. She had a terrific sense of humor and loved flying small airplanes with her husband and loved flying in space. Flying was her passion. She would often remind her crew as her training flow would be delayed and become extended, she would say, 'Man, you are training to fly in space. What more could you want?' "

Col. James Halsell: (From his speech during the Kennedy Space Center Memorial)
"Laurel Clark. Laurel was meticulous and detail-oriented, but she balanced this intensity with an absolute unwillingness to start any meeting without giving you a hug or asking about your family or telling you, with pride, about hers."

Capt. Kent V. Rominger: (From his speech during the Johnson Space Center Memorial)
"Mike. He was a perfect choice for the payload commander. Organized, thorough, someone you could absolutely count on, a gifted leader. He was the quiet type, unless you asked him about his family or his Porsche. And perhaps because he was quiet, we all loved to see him laugh. And when he laughed, we laughed with him even harder."

Rabbi Zvi Konikov: (From his speech during the Kennedy Space Center Memorial)
"Ilan Ramon turned to me with a question: 'How does one mark the Sabbath in space with every 90 minutes another sunset, every ten and a half hours is a Sabbath, every 20 days Rash Hashanah?' (laughter) Jerusalem, we have a problem. (laughter) So I had my homework to do. But Ilan taught us a powerful message: No matter how fast we're going, no matter how important our work, we need to pause and think about why we're here on Earth."

Remembering the Crew of STS-107 February 1, 2003

 
 
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center