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.
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.”Missions » Apollo » Apollo 1 »