Southeast Texas sleepily awoke to a quiet morning with mild temperatures and light fog, Saturday, February 01, 2020. It was a totally different kind of morning, 17 years ago February 01, 2003. Southeast Texas, Sabine County, and the world awoke to news of the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia on reentry. Most of the STS-107 Columbia’s debris fell in Sabine County. Hemphill Texas was at ground zero for the recovery efforts. It is now the location of “Remembering Columbia" at the Patrica Huffman Smith NASA Museum, which held the 17th Memorial Of Space Shuttle STS-105 Columbia on Saturday.
Special guest speaker was NASA’s Brian Ewenson. Ewenson spoke to those gathered for the memorial, about the NASA family.
“We at NASA are all ordinary people doing extraordinary things”. He stressed the fact that all NASA employees are equals. He remembered a time working with his old boss John Glenn. “I had a really hard time trying to figure out how to address him. He’s in our history books.”
One day John Glenn shared something to help Brian out. “We are all equals here at NASA. Engineers, technicians, doctors, pilots, we all make up our NASA family. It takes every single one of us doing our jobs perfectly, to get us there and back”.
Mr. Ewenson also wanted to share, that space is an inherently dangerous business. “NASA has a 98% success rate with space travel. Our people now understand this. It’s part of our jobs. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
Mr. Ewenson also wanted those gathered to understand that Southeast Texas is also part of the NASA family. “ Southeast Texas was crucial to the recovery and bringing home of our Columbia Crew.”