The STS-107 crewmembers strike a flying pose. From the left, bottom row, wearing red shirts, are astronauts Kalpana Chawla, Rick Husband, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon. From the left, top row, wearing blue shirts, are astronauts David Brown, William McCool and Michae Anderson. --NASA
We remember that terrible Saturday morning, three years ago today when, rather than reporting on the safe return of Columbia, audibly shaken newscasters reported the Space Shuttle's destruction during reentry into Earth's atmosphere.
May they rest in peace.
February 1, 2003
Seven souls released in fire,
Vehicles sublimed between air and Earth,
Their courage and love set free to fill
Our hearts and the universe.
God takes his own in his good way and time,
Not for us to fathom the emptiness behind the taking
Or the mind so vast its love looks like death.
For us is only grief and, looking up,
To reach again for the stars.
Published in Slate & Style: Magazine of the NFB Writers Division
Space.com Special Report
BBC In Depth Coverage
NASA's Columbia Site