The Silent Wings Museum Presents Columbia 15 Years After

Start Date: February 02, 2018, 10:00 AM
End Date: June 15, 2018, 5:00 PM

The Silent Wings Museum presents Columbia 15 Years After¸ a special exhibition commemorating the 15th anniversary of the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia when it broke apart during reentry on February 1, 2003. The display will also focus on the Columbia space shuttle program, the crew and the 80 experiments that were accomplished during the mission. This exhibition is in partnership with the Texas Tech University Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, The Texas Aviation Heritage Foundation, and NASA Flight Operations.

The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first Orbiter to take a crew into Low Earth Orbit on April 12, 1981. The Columbia would fly another 27 missions between 1981 and 2003. Prior to its disintegration, the shuttle was scheduled to fly another two missions.

The final flight of the space shuttle Columbia, also known as STS-107, began January 16, 2003 and was the 113th flight of the space shuttle program. It was scheduled for a 16-day research mission. Its seven-member crew included: Shuttle Commander Rick D. Husband, Pilot Willie C. McCool, Payload Specialist Michael P. Anderson, Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist David M. Brown, Mission Specialist Laurel B. Clark, and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon. Two of the crew members, Shuttle Commander Rick Husband and Pilot Willie McCool, were from West Texas.

The crew members aboard STS-107 left a legacy of service to their countries and dedication to scientific exploration. Their sacrifices led NASA to reevaluate its institutional culture and create safer conditions for astronauts while continuing to further space exploration and foster greater cooperation among international space agencies.

There will be an opening reception Thursday, February 1, 2018, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. with special guest speaker, former NASA Astronaut Col. Steven W. Lindsey. Col. Lindsey is a retired U.S. Air Force pilot and a veteran of four space flights, logging more than 1,510 hours in space. He is currently the senior director and co-program manager of Space Exploration Systems for Sierra Nevada Corporation.

This commemorative exhibit will be on display January 30 through June 17, 2018 in the Timeline Gallery at the Silent Wings Museum. Regular business hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Visit or call 806-775-3049 for admission prices or to schedule a tour.

Funding for this exhibit was generously provided by the Helen Jones Foundation.

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