In a sentimental formal ceremony saluting their dedication and sacrifice, the seven crew members of STS-107 were permanently memorialized today at the Astronauts Memorial Foundation's Space Mirror Memorial at Kennedy Space Center. The names of Rick Husband, Willie McCool, Laurel Clark, Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, and Ilan Ramon have been etched into the wall of mirror-finished black granite, joining the names of 17 other space heroes who gave their lives for the U.S. space program.|
Evelyn Husband, widow of Rick Husband, and William Readdy, Associate Administrator for Space Flight, lay a wreath at the foot of the Space Mirror.
The families of the fallen Columbia seven were joined at the invitation-only event by senior NASA staff, dignitaries representing Israel and India, and various legislators.
Dr. Jon Clark, widower of Laurel Clark, spoke on behalf of the crew members' families.
"We truly are all Columbia family because we've all shared the loss of the crew and the precious first spacecraft that carried the name Columbia," said Clark. "It would be hard to capture the thoughts and spirits of the crew. Now, as we stand before this lovely memorial, we must remember that it is not a memorial to the past but a testimony to the future."
John Young, currently serving as an associate director at Johnson Space Center, commanded Columbia on STS-1. In paying his respect to the crew of STS-107 and the family members attending the ceremony, he emphasized that America is not finished with space exploration.
"From those launch pads right over there," he said, gesturing to where Columbia lifted off on Jan. 16, 2003, "the future is waiting for us."
Evelyn Husband, widow of Rick Husband, and William Readdy, Associate Administrator for Space Flight, laid a wreath at the foot of the Space Mirror. The silence was broken moments later as four T-38 jets, piloted by astronauts, pierced the sky over KSC in the Missing Man Formation.
The names of the STS-107 crew members shine through the surface of the Space Mirror above the wreath.
+ View streaming video of the ceremony
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NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center