Nyack, NY, February 1, 2003 – The members of the Space Frontier Foundation offer their condolences to the families, friends and co-workers of the brave crew of the space shuttle Columbia, STS 107.
“These people were heroes of the highest order,” stated Rick Tumlinson, the Foundation’s Founder. “They, like all of those who reach for the stars, shared in a dream that will not die. The opening of the space frontier is the ultimate calling of our time, and those who answer that call are heroes. We call for America and the world to not give up on this incredible quest.”
“Those of us in the space community have known since Challenger that accidents will happen on the edge of any frontier,” stated Tumlinson. “That doesn’t diminish the sorrow, but instead reminds us of the importance of this work, and the greatness of the people and institutions that have taken it on for all of us on planet earth. Instead of deterring us from the work, it should spur us on.”
He concluded: “Now is not the time to talk of the hows and whys of this tragedy, as investigations have already begun by those whose job it is to understand such things. In the end, findings will be made and conclusions brought to light and a discussion and debate can be had as to what our next steps will be. There is little to say right now other than to praise the lost heroes. Our greatest tribute to them is to continue their work and never falter in our commitment to realize their legacy.
“Our hearts go out to the families of this brave crew, and their co-workers at NASA. There are no words that can adequately express our sadness.”