It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since we lost Columbia and her crew. I think people are affected most by the accidents they can remember personally, and for me, Columbia is that accident. My classroom was not watching Challenger’s launch, and I was sheltered from the news, so I don’t remember it as clearly as others do.
Ten years ago today, as I remember many others doing, I turned my personal websites black, in remembrance of the crew of STS-107. (Unlike many others, I left them that way for a month. Overkill? I don’t regret it.) I had a pin badge of the mission logo on my favorite pullover. And I faithfully wore my gray Return to Flight bracelet every day, until we did. Hard to believe that was a decade ago.
Godspeed, Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, David Brown, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Michael P. Anderson, Ilan Ramon, and Kalpana Chawla.
The Columbia STS-107 mission lifted off on January 16, 2003, for a 17-day science mission featuring numerous microgravity experiments. Upon reentering the atmosphere on February 1, 2003, the Columbia orbiter suffered a catastrophic failure due to a breach that occurred during launch when falling foam from the External Tank struck the Reinforced Carbon Carbon panels on the underside of the left wing. The orbiter and its seven crewmembers (Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, David Brown, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Michael P. Anderson, Ilan Ramon, and Kalpana Chawla) were lost approximately 15 minutes before Columbia was scheduled to touch down at Kennedy Space Center.