Remembering the fallen heroes of Columbia

The day started on a bright note for the crew of STS-107 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. They were awakened by a rousing rendition of Scotland the Brave in honor of mission specialist Laurel Clark’s Scottish heritage. Mission Control followed the wake-up tune with news the astronauts had been waiting for. It was time to come home. The seven members of the crew (Commander Rick Husband, pilot Willie McCool and mission specialists Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, Mike Anderson, David Brown and Israeli payload specialist Ilan Ramon) were coming to the end of a 16 day mission of scientific experimentation.

Shortly after 9:00AM EST, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated in the skies above Texas, killing all crew members aboard.

Please read my blog post from last year for more information on the disaster.


As a kid I always wanted to become an astronaut, and that dream still lives on. On 1st of February, 2003, I was home watching the images and videos of the disaster over and over. It was a moment that everything around you stops. This incident felt so deeply but it only made me more encourage to pursuit my dream.

May the souls of our heroes rest between Stars!

Some unforgettable moments:

STS-107 reentry

an astronaut helmet

STS 101 mission patch on the ground

Columbia Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery

the crew cutting the official cake

STS 107 lift off

Columbia on the launch pad before its first mission (1981)

a cartoon which published on a Florida newspaper

The crew of STS-107. L to R: Brown, Husband, Clark, Chawla, Anderson, McCool, Ramon.

Image credit: NASA/Astronaut Memorial


Anonymous said...

Very touching Thilina. RIP Columbia Crew.

Anonymous said...

I remember I was on holiday at centre parks when I saw this on the news. I was in a bar with a tv and the news was on. It overran by about 5 minutes because of a special live report. At the end of it, the newscaster apologised for the delay and promised that the scheduled programming would resume immediately, and it did, the next thing that played being the opening theme and intro to star trek enterprise. As I looked around the bar, I noticed quite a few teary eyes indeed looking at the screen.