Official NASA photograph.

Official STS-107 crew photo. From left to right are mission specialist David Brown, commander Rick Husband, mission specialist Laurel Clark, mission specialist Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist Michael Anderson, pilot William McCool, and Israeli payload specialist Ilan Ramon. Official NASA photograph.

Eleven years ago today, the Space Shuttle Columbia was tragically lost with all hands on reentry.

– Mission Commander Col. Richard “Rick” Husband, USAF, a former fighter and test pilot. He first flew into space on the Discovery on STS-96.
– Mission Pilot CDR William “Willie” McCool, USN, a former attack and test pilot.
– Mission Payload Commander Lt.Col. Michael P. Anderson, USAF, a former EC-135 pilot and flight instructor.
– Mission Payload Specialist: Col. Ilan Ramon, IAF, a former fighter pilot and the first Israeli astronaut.
– Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla, an aerospace engineer, the first Indian and Indian-American woman in space. She first flew into space on the Columbia on STS-87.
– Mission Specialist CAPT David M. Brown, USN, a former fighter, attack and test pilot as well as a fully qualified Naval Flight Surgeon.
– Mission Specialist CAPT Laurel Blair Salton Clark, USN, a former Naval Flight Surgeon.

All were awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor posthumously.

About Ian D'Costa (240 Articles)
Ian is the editor-in-chief of the Tactical Air Network. His work has been republished and quoted in a number of publications, including The Toronto Star, Airsoc, Business Insider and The Aviationist. You can reach him at

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