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Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial


Section 46

On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia was headed home after a 16-day scientific mission, its 28th venture into space. As Columbia re-entered Earth's atmosphere, it suddenly burst into flames, killing all seven crew members: Richard "Rick" Husband, commander; William C. McCool, pilot; Michael P. Anderson, payload commander; David M. Brown, mission specialist; Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; Laurel Blair Salton Clark, mission specialist; and Ilan Ramon, mission specialist. 

Commingled remains of the Columbia crew are interred below the memorial in Section 46, Grave 1180. Those who could be identified individually also have individual gravesites. 

  • Captain David Brown, U.S. Navy: Section 46, Grave 1180-3
  • Captain Laurel Blair Salton Clark, M.D., U.S. Navy: Section 46, Grave 1180-2
  • Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson, U.S. Air Force: Section 46, Grave 1180-1
  • Dr. Kalpana Chawla
  • Col. Rick D. Husband, U.S. Air Force
  • Cmdr. William C. McCool, U.S. Navy
  • Col. Ilan Ramon, Israeli Air Force

In April 2003, Congress approved and President George W. Bush signed into law the Columbia Memorial Act, authorizing the secretary of the Army, in consultation with NASA, to place a memorial to the Columbia crew in Arlington National Cemetery. NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, accompanied by more than 400 family members, former astronauts and friends, dedicated the memorial on February 2, 2004. Standing just a few feet away from the Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial, the marker features a silhouette of the space shuttle imprinted with the names of the astronauts and surrounded by seven stars. 

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