Martian hills dedicated to fallen Columbia crew
Posted: February 2, 2004

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.

An image taken from Spirit's PanCam looking west depicts the nearby hills dedicated to the final crew of Columbia. Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
Download larger image here.

"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 (STS-107) 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 (IAU) for official designation. The IAU serves as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and their surface features.

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. Credit: NASA/JPL
Download larger image here.


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