Remembering Columbia’s CrewCreighton University was one of several universities to honor one of its most promising alumni that died when the space shuttle Columbia broke up over Texas during re-entry, killing all seven astronauts on board. Creighton renamed the university plaza “The Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson Memorial Plaza” to honor the life and memory of the astronaut who received his master’s in physics from the Omaha, Neb., university in 1990.Dr. Kalpana Chawla, who was the first Indian woman to fly aboard a U.S. space shuttle, also perished. Chawla received her doctorate from the University of Colorado-Boulder, where the aerospace engineering program experienced the loss of another graduate, Dr. Ellison Onizuka, who died in the Challenger explosion in January 1986. “CU-Boulder now has lost two of its shining stars to shuttle disasters,” said Dr. Phil DiStefano, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.The crew also included Israel’s first astronaut, Illan Ramon, a colonel in Israel’s air force; pilot William McCool; commander Rick Husband; and mission specialists Laurel Clark and David Brown.
According to NASA investigators, foam that hit the shuttle’s wing shortly after liftoff was determined to be the cause of the accident.
Continued at Headliners
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