Looking Back: Day of Remembrance Held Marking 10th Anniversary of Columbia Disaster

NASA and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex along with the Astronauts Memorial Foundation held a "Day of Remembrnace" to honor those that lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration on Feb. 1, 2013 - the 10th anniversary of the Columbia disaster. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

NASA and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, along with the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, held a “Day of Remembrance” to honor those that lost their lives in the pursuit of space exploration, on Feb. 1, 2013, the 10th anniversary of the Columbia disaster. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — On February 1, 2013, NASA and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Columbia disaster. The occasion was also used to honor the loss of the Apollo 1 and Challenger crews. Held at the Space Mirror Memorial, which is located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the event was hosted by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and started at 10 a.m. EST.

The speakers for the day’s events included many officials who spoke about the sacrifices made by those whose names grace the memorial: Robert Lightfoot, NASA’s associate administrator; William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator, NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate; Robert Cabana, director, NASA Kennedy Space Center; Thad Altman, president and chief executive officer, Astronauts Memorial Foundation; Jon McBride, chairman, Board of Directors, Astronauts Memorial Foundation; Evelyn Husband-Thompson, widow of Col. Rick Husband, commander, space shuttle Columbia, STS-107; Eileen Collins, commander, space shuttle Discovery, STS-114.

Eileen Collins, the commander of the shuttle mission after STS-107 - the final flight of Columbia. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

Eileen Collins, the commander of the shuttle mission after STS-107, the final flight of Columbia. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

NASA’s three crewed tragedies all fall within the same general time of year, between January 27 and February 1. The fire that cost the crew of Apollo 1 their lives took place on Jan. 27, 1967, Challenger was lost on ascent on Jan. 28, 1986, and Columbia was lost in the skies above Texas on Feb, 1, 2003, just sixteen minutes from arriving at the Shuttle Landing Facility located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“Today we gather to honor and remember the special crew of Columbia who are regarded as national heroes—and we are not alone,” said Evelyn Husband-Thompson, the widow of Columbia’s Commander Rick Husband. “Today in Israel, family members, friends, and NASA colleagues are gathered to remember the crew. In East Texas this morning, where Columbia and her crew found their final resting place, tributes are being made and memorial services are being conducted by Columbia family members, friends, and lots of NASA folks.”

Evelyn Husband-Thompson, the widow of Rick Husband, the commander of space shuttle Columbia's final flight, honored the crew's memory, and their sacrifice. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

Evelyn Husband-Thompson, the widow of Rick Husband, the commander of space shuttle Columbia’s final flight, honored the crew’s memory and their sacrifice. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth Studio

Missions » Apollo » Apollo 1 »

1 comment to Looking Back: Day of Remembrance Held Marking 10th Anniversary of Columbia Disaster

  • Mary Kanian

    Nice article & great pics…the pics really MAKE THE STORY in the faces of family & grieving support people. Thank you!