Columbia: What is not gone

The Christian Science Monitor

"It's gone," said a senior US official in one of the first formal statements to the news media about the Columbia space shuttle, which broke up over Texas just 16 minutes before its scheduled touchdown on Saturday morning at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. All crew members were lost.

The photos of the seven astronauts—five men and two women, one of the men an Israeli, only three of the crew with prior experience in space—suddenly seem like photos of family. Warm and smiling faces of a crew taken just prior to launching, a crew setting out to push back the limits of our knowledge and open new paths of scientific understanding. And now they are gone.

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THE 'SPECIAL GRACE' OF THE COLUMBIA CREW
February 24, 2003
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