Press Release

Statement From the Family of Columbia Astronaut Dave Brown

By SpaceRef Editor
August 27, 2003
Filed under , ,

The family of STS-107 Astronaut David M. Brown has asked
NASA to issue the following statement:

“Thousands of people, including Shuttle debris searchers,
NASA personnel, the public, and the accident investigation
board helped to determine what happened to the Space Shuttle
Columbia and her crew. Together they produced this well-
documented report. We are indebted to all of them. We all
benefit from this hindsight.

“NASA contingency planners conceived of an outline for an
investigation board and its general membership, and thus set
fact-finding off to a fast start. The space planners also
foresaw a need for assigning NASA astronauts to assist each
family. We are very grateful for their help.

“The crew accepted the risk of space flight, because they
believed in their scientific mission. Their scientific work
was not in vain. One report estimates the known completion of
the Columbia crew’s scientific investigations to be 60 to 70
percent.

“The little boy who chased butterflies grew up to be a space
explorer. We miss him terribly. “Hundreds and hundreds of
letters of sympathy and support have helped in this time of
grief. We thank the writers wholeheartedly.

“Now it is time to study and implement the report, and to
resume exploration. As David said of a possible catastrophe,
‘The program will go on. It must go on.'”

Paul & Dorothy Brown, parents

Douglas R. Brown, brother

SpaceRef staff editor.