Crewmembers on board the space shuttle Columbia (STS-107)

Commander
Rick D. Husband, 45, was from Amarillo, Texas. He was a colonel in the U.S. Air Force and a test pilot. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University in 1980, and his M.S. in mechanical engineering from California State University-Fresno in 1990. He was a pilot of STS-96 in 1999.

Pilot
William C. McCool, 41, was from Lubbock, Texas. He was a commander in the U.S. Navy. He earned his B.S. in applied science from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983, his M.S. in computer science from the University of Maryland in 1985, and his M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1992. This was McCool’s first spaceflight.

Payload Commander
Michael P. Anderson, 43, was from Spokane, Wash. He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and a former flight instructor. He earned his B.S. in physics and astronomy from the University of Washington in 1981, and his M.S. in physics from Creighton University in1990. Anderson also served as Mission Specialist 3 during this flight. He also traveled to the MIR space station in 1998.

Mission Specialist 1
David M. Brown, 46, was born in Arlington, Va. He was a captain in the U.S. Navy, a naval aviator and a flight surgeon. He earned his B.S. in biology from the College of William & Mary in 1978, and his Ph.D. in medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1982. While in college he performed in the Circus Kingdom as an acrobat, 7-foot unicyclist and a stilt walker. This was Brown’s first spacefilght.

Mission Specialist 2
Kalpana Chawla, 41, emigrated to the United States from India in the 1980s. Chawla also served as the flight engineer during this flight. She was an aerospace engineer and an FAA certified flight instructor. She earned her B.S. in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College, India in 1982, her M.S. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas-Arlington in 1984 and her Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1988. Chawla was the prime robotic arm operator on STS-87 in 1997.

Mission Specialist 4
Laurel Blair Salton Clark, 41, was from Racine, Wis. She was a commander in the U.S. Navy and a naval flight surgeon. She earned her B.S. in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983 and her Ph.D in medicine in 1987. Clark recently lost a cousin in the World Trade Center attacks. This was Clark’s first spaceflight.

Payload Specialist 1
Ilan Ramon, 48, was the first Israeli in space. He was a colonel in the Israeli Air Force and the son of a Holocaust survivor. Ramon fought in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and the Lebanon War in 1982. His wife and four children live in Tel Aviv. This was his first spaceflight.

Post your thoughts about the Columbia tragedy on our message board.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply