NASA marks 10 years since loss of Columbia, crew

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Associated Press

Posted on February 2, 2013 at 10:32 AM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — It's a special day of remembrance for NASA.

Ten years ago, space shuttle Columbia and its seven astronauts were lost. They were returning from a 16-day mission, and were just 16 minutes from home when the shuttle disintegrated on Feb. 1, 2003.

A few hundred people gathered at Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Friday morning to remember the Columbia seven. NASA officials joined family members, astronauts and schoolchildren for the outdoor ceremony.

The widow of Columbia's commander told the crowd the accident was so unexpected and the shock so intense, that she could not cry at first. Evelyn Husband Thompson says the tears came "in waves and buckets" in the week, months and years that followed. She assured everyone, though, that healing is possible.

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