It was 13 years ago that we began to hear the terrible news: Space Shuttle Columbia had been lost during re-entry into our atmosphere. There were no survivors.
I had the honor of knowing the seven people who were lost that day aboard Columbia. They were: Col. Rick Husband, Lt. Col. Michael Anderson, Cmdr. Laurel Clark, Capt. David Brown, Cmdr. William McCool, Dr. Kalpana Chawla and Ilan Ramon, a colonel in the Israeli Air Force.
And I can tell you that they were brave explorers, tireless public servants, and really good people. They knew spaceflight was a risky business. They flew anyway.