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The Crew of Space Shuttle ColumbiaIn Remembrance of Space Shuttle Columbia

Pictured from left to right: David M. Brown, Rick D. Husband, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michael P. Anderson, William C. McCool, and Ilan Ramon.

Space flight has become so seemingly routine to the average American, that we have come to expect each mission to succeed without any major problems. We easily forget just how dangerous space travel is. The crew and all their support staff know the dangers and brave them as they expand the boundaries of our known world. 

On Tuesday January 28 the Columbia crew and mission control staff observed a moment of silence in honor of the Challenger crew of 7 astronauts (including the first school teacher to train for space flight) who died in an explosion 17 years before, and the three astronauts who died in a launch pad fire on the Apollo spacecraft on Jan. 27, 1967. 

Columbia commander Rick Husband, January 28, 2003: "It is today that we remember and honor the crews of Apollo 1 and Challenger. They made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives and service to their country and for all mankind," 

"Their dedication and devotion to the exploration of space was an inspiration to each of us and still motivates people around the world to achieve great things and service to others."

May we also always remember the sacrifices of these space explorers, including the crew of Columbia. 

Statement from the Families of Space Shuttle Columbia

On January 16th, we saw our loved ones launch into a brilliant, cloud-free sky. Their hearts were full of enthusiasm, pride in country, faith in their God, and a willingness to accept risk in the pursuit of knowledge -- knowledge that might improve the quality of life for all mankind. Columbia's 16–day mission of scientific discovery was a great success, cut short by mere minutes -- yet it will live on forever in our memories. We want to thank the NASA family and people from around the world for their incredible outpouring of love and support. Although we grieve deeply, as do the families of Apollo 1 and Challenger before us, the bold exploration of space must go on. Once the root cause of this tragedy is found and corrected, the legacy of Columbia must carry on -- for the benefit of our children and yours.

:: NASA Columbia Crew Profiles ::
:: Columbia Astronauts Remember Challenger Crew ::

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