Press Release

NASA Dedicates Mars Landmarks to Columbia Crew

By SpaceRef Editor
February 2, 2004
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NASA Dedicates Mars Landmarks to Columbia Crew
columbia

NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe today announced the martian hills,
located east of the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover’s landing site,
would be dedicated to the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 crew.

“These seven hills on Mars are named for those seven brave souls, the
final crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia. The Columbia crew faced the
challenge of space and made the supreme sacrifice in the name of
exploration,” Administrator O’Keefe said.

The Shuttle Columbia was commanded by Rick Husband and piloted by
William McCool. The mission specialists were Michael Anderson, Kalpana
Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark; and the payload specialist was
Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. On February 1, 2003, the Columbia and
its crew were lost over the western United States during re-entry into
Earth’s atmosphere.

The 28th and final flight of Columbia was a 16-day mission dedicated
to research in physical, life and space sciences. The Columbia crew
successfully conducted approximately 80 separate experiments during
their mission.

NASA will submit the names of the Mars features to the International
Astronomical Union for official designation. The organization serves
as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations
to celestial bodies and their surface features.

An image taken from Spirit’s PanCam looking west depicts the nearby hills dedicated to the final crew of Space Shuttle Columbia. Arranged alphabetically from left to right – “Anderson Hill” is the most northeast of Spirit’s landing site and 3 kilometers away. Next are “Brown Hill” and “Chawla Hill”, both 2.9 kilometers distant. Next is “Clark Hill” at 3 kilometers. “Husband Hill” and “McCool Hill”, named for Columbia’s commander and pilot respectively, are 3.1 and 4.2 kilometers distant. “Ramon Hill” is furthest southeast of Spirit’s landing site and 4.4 kilometers away.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

An image taken by the Mars Global Surveyor’s Mars Orbiter Camera of the Columbia Memorial Station and the nearby hills named after the Columbia crew. The 28th and final flight of Columbia (STS-107) was a 16-day mission dedicated to research in physical, life and space sciences. The Columbia crew worked 24 hours a day in two alternating shifts, successfully conducting approximately 80 separate experiments. On February 1, 2003, the Columbia and its crew were lost over the southern United States during the spacecraft’s re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL

SpaceRef staff editor.