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February 5, 2003

Glen Mahone/Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington

Eileen Hawley/Kyle Herring
Johnson Space Center, Houston

436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Dover Air Force Base, Del.

Release: #H03-053

Deputy Administrator Meets Space Shuttle Columbia Astronauts' Remains at Dover AFB

Today, Deputy NASA Administrator Frederick Gregory will render honors to the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The remains of the orbiter’s seven astronauts are scheduled to arrive in flag-draped caskets at Dover about 2 p.m. EST on board a C-141 Starlifter.

The seven astronauts – Commander Rick Husband (Colonel, USAF), Pilot Willie McCool (Commander, USN) and Mission Specialists Michael Anderson (Lieutenant Colonel, USAF), David Brown (Captain, USN), Kalpana Chawla and Laurel Clark (Commander, USN), and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon (Colonel, Israel Air Force) – died Saturday when the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up over the southern United States.

The Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs at the base will prepare the remains for return to the families. Ramon's remains will be flown to his home in Israel for burial. Final funeral arrangements for the crew are still to be announced.

Video and still images of the private Honor Guard reception will be included in a NASA Television video feed later today and available on the agency's Internet site at


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