February 1, 2012

Remembering Columbia

This morning Paul and I attended a memorial for the crew of the spaceship Columbia in Hemphill, Texas. The memorial was held at the Patricia Huffman Smith Museum, a museum opened on Feb 1st 2011 to honour the space shuttle Columbia and it's crew.
CREDIT: Creator/Photographer/Source: NASA
Hemphill and it's viciinity were the key search areas for debris from the space shuttle which broke apart during re-entry on Feb 1st 2003. Citizens of the Hemphill and surrounding areas (including Paul) assisted NASA in an unprecedented air, ground and water search. They recovered over 80000 pieces of debris which helped NASA understand the tragedy and put safety measures in place to prevent a similar accident from occurring on future missions.
The museum is awesome and tells the story of space exploration from the first mission of the Columbia to it's last mission, STS-107.
It is a tribute to the efforts made by local citizens during the recovery and has an area dedicated to each crew member and the two people that lost their lives during the recovery. Especially touching is the support given by the family members who have contributed personal items belonging to the crew to be on display. It was hard not to be moved by the displays and emotion shown by those that were involved with the museum and their dedication to providing an informative, yet sensitive, view of the tragedy that happened 9 years ago today. 
This image of the STS-107 shuttle Columbia crew in orbit was recovered from wreckage inside an undeveloped film canister. The shirt colors indicate their mission shifts. From left (bottom row): Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; Rick Husband, commander; Laurel Clark, mission specialist; and Ilan Ramon, payload specialist. From left (top row) are astronauts David Brown, mission specialist; William McCool, pilot; and Michael Anderson, payload commander. Ramon represents the Israeli Space Agency.


  1. A sombre occasion, I'm sure, but still nice that you could go.

  2. Looks like a very moving occasion. The museum looks incredible -- I didn't even know about it. Thanks for sharing.


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