“The Columbia is lost.” Those were the words of the President after the shuttle was last seen hurtling across the East Texas sky. The weekend newspapers were full of photographs and biographies of the shuttle crew. Rick Husband, Willie McCool, Dave Brown, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Mike Anderson and Ilan Ramon. They were outstanding people incredible personal and professional accomplishments. And they shared more than their time on Columbia. First and foremost, they were seekers, with a passion for scientific exploration. They believed that what is out there, has something important to teach us about life down here. What we learn when send people into space.
Kelly Beatty, editor, Sky and Telescope magazine
and Albert Sacco, former mission specialist for Columbia shuttle and director of Center for Advanced Microgravity Materials Processing at Northeastern University