Titusville Event Recalls Loss Of Space Shuttle Columbia

By  //  January 26, 2013

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Event Saturday At Sand Point Park

BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – The 10-year anniversary of the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia is upon on us.

Space Shuttle Columbia was lost Feb.1, 2003 and an Astronaut Memorial event in Titusville on Jan. 26 will pay tribute to astronauts who died aboard Columbia. (Image courtesy of NASA)

The city of Titusville’s Flag and Memorial Committee will host its annual Astronaut Memorial in remembrance of all fallen astronauts at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at Sand Point Park.

Barbara McGillicuddy, Chairwoman of Titusville’s Flag and Memorial Committee, said that Mike Lienbach, a former NASA launch director at the time of the loss of Columbia, will be the keynote speaker for this year’s event.

The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster took place on Feb. 1, 2003 as it was wrapping up its 28th flight into space.

The shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry over Texas and Louisiana  causing the death of all seven astronauts aboard.

Astronauts who died aboard Columbia included:

• Commander Rick D. Husband

• Pilot William C. McCool

• Payload Commander Michael P. Anderson

• Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon of Israel

• Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla

• Mission Specialist David M. Brown

• Mission Specialist Laurel Blair Salton Clark

The loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia was later found to be the result of damage sustained during its launch when a piece of foam insulation broke off from its external tank upon liftoff, striking the left wing. It damaged the shuttle’s thermal protection system, allowing hot gases to penetrate and destroy the internal wing structure, causing a rapid in-flight breakup of the vehicle.

McGillicuddy said the public is encouraged to come and be a part of the event and remember the contributions of all fallen astronauts.