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  Space Shuttle Columbia Crew Memorialized On Mars

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Author Topic:   Space Shuttle Columbia Crew Memorialized On Mars
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-06-2004 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today announced plans to name the landing site of the Mars Spirit Rover in honor of the astronauts who died in the tragic accident of the Space Shuttle Columbia in February. The area in the vast flatland of the Gusev Crater where Spirit landed this weekend will be called the Columbia Memorial Station.

Since its historic landing, Spirit has been sending extraordinary images of its new surroundings on the red planet over the past few days. Among them, an image of a memorial plaque placed on the spacecraft to Columbia's astronauts and the STS-107 mission.

The plaque is mounted on the back of Spirit's high-gain antenna, a disc-shaped tool used for communicating directly with Earth. The plaque is aluminum and approximately six inches in diameter. The memorial plaque was attached March 28, 2003, at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Chris Voorhees and Peter Illsley, Mars Exploration Rover engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., designed the plaque.

"During this time of great joy for NASA, the Mars Exploration Rover team and the entire NASA family paused to remember our lost colleagues from the Columbia mission. To venture into space, into the unknown, is a calling heard by the bravest, most dedicated individuals," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "As team members gazed at Mars through Spirit's eyes, the Columbia memorial appeared in images returned to Earth, a fitting tribute to their own spirit and dedication. Spirit carries the dream of exploration the brave astronauts of Columbia held in their hearts."

Spirit successfully landed on Mars Jan. 3. It will spend the next three months exploring the barren landscape to determine if Mars was ever watery and suitable to sustain life. Spirit's twin, Opportunity, will reach Mars on Jan. 25 to begin a similar examination of a site on the opposite side of the planet.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited January 06, 2004).]

FFrench
Member

Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 01-06-2004 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's very good to hear, and I will share it with the staff of our Challenger Center.

Thanks,

FF

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited January 06, 2004).]

MrSpace86
Member

Posts: 1379
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 01-06-2004 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's probably one of the best pictures I have ever seen from another planet.

-Rodrigo

dss65
Member

Posts: 821
From: Sandpoint, ID, USA
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 01-06-2004 09:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA hit a homer with this mission. It's definitely turning into a Grand Slam. Bravo!

------------------
Don

ALAIN
Member

Posts: 355
From: GENT, Belgium
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 01-07-2004 07:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ALAIN     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Superb initiative ... A great memorial for STS-107 !
Just curious; Would "Opportunity" also carry such a plate ?

[This message has been edited by ALAIN (edited January 07, 2004).]

Scott
Member

Posts: 3293
From: Houston, TX
Registered: May 2001

posted 01-07-2004 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's neat.

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