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The Human Side of the Columbia Disaster June 30, 2015

Jun 30, 2015 at 8:30 PM
Baker Center Theater

Two ISU faculty members – Doug Hamilton and John Connolly – will present a lecture on Tues., June 30, from 8:30-10 p.m. in Baker University Center Theater covering their roles during the recovery and investigation of the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

Within minutes of the disintegration of the Columbia during its return to Earth, NASA personnel, flight surgeons and teams of rescue and recovery personnel were sent to search a broad area of Texas to recover Columbia’s crew, and to uncover clues about the the shuttle’s break-up. Hamilton and Connolly were two of the early responders, and each had different missions - to support the families of the crew, determine how to keep a crew on the International Space Station given its main source of supplies was grounded, recover the crew, and to recover what remained of the vehicle and to determine the root cause of the accident.

Eventually, 22,000 individuals would take part in the search and recovery, which covered almost 3,000 square kilometers of the Texas wilderness. The loss of the seven crewmembers and the dedication of so many search and rescue personnel made the Columbia recovery a truly human story.

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