Skip to comments.Shuttle Columbia Widows Recall Husbands
Posted on 01/26/2004 11:48:32 AM PST by anymouse
Speaking at the church where they have found solace since space shuttle Columbia broke apart, two widows of the astronauts said Sunday that their husbands followed their dreams into space.
"The very first thing that captured Rick's imagination when he was 4 was when they placed man on the moon," said shuttle commander Rick Husband's wife, Evelyn. "He was so excited about that."
Husband spoke alongside Sandy Anderson, wife of Columbia astronaut Michael Anderson, at Grace Community Church in Houston. Husband said she thinks President Bush's plan announced earlier this month to return man to the moon and go eventually to Mars will "recapture the imagination" of Americans.
"My husband always said we would be the first family to go to Mars and I just used to laugh at him," Anderson said. "He would have been thrilled. It was coming. And I think it is a good thing too."
The women added, however, that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration needs to heed recommendations in the Columbia accident report.
"It is always going to be a risky business," Husband said. "But we would like to see it succeed under the conditions of the CAIB (Columbia Accident Investigation Board) report."
A chunk of foam the size of a suitcase tore a hole in Columbia's left wing 82 seconds after liftoff a year ago. The gap let in the searing gases of re-entry two weeks later. The spaceship broke apart over Texas on Feb. 1, killing all seven astronauts.
Columbia accident investigators urged NASA (news - web sites) to not only eliminate flyaway foam and other launch debris, but to toughen the shuttle wings and develop a plan for astronauts to make emergency repairs. Investigators also urged changes to the space agency culture.
Husband and Anderson said they plan to spend the anniversary of the disaster Sunday at church and then later in the day attend the Super Bowl with their children.
Anderson said she has tried to make sure to talk with her two children about their father. "Right now we have just been trying to keep our family together and heal and mend," she said.
Anderson said that it's also been a tough year for employees at Johnson Space Center and throughout NASA. Bush's space-exploration plan "is probably a big morale boost for them," she added.
Josh Groban is an amazing talent. I wasn't aware he was performing at the Super Bowl pregame show. That's wonderful!