SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - East Texans will remember the lives lost in the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy in a memorial service in Hemphill on Monday.
The seven member crew of STS-107 was killed when the shuttle broke apart over East Texas 13 years ago.
At 7:45 a.m., the Patricia Huffman Smith NASA 'Remembering Columbia' museum will hold a memorial service to reflect on the events of February 1, 2003.
Columbia's seven-member crew perished just minutes before concluding their 16-day science mission with a scheduled landing at Kennedy Space Center. On board the spacecraft were: Commander Rick Husband, Pilot Willie McCool, Payload Commander Michael Anderson, Mission Specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown and Laurel Clark, and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut.
Monday's program will coincide with the 5th anniversary of the opening of the 3,400-square-foot facility. Inside, exhibits chronicle each of Columbia 28 missions and crews, even displaying personal items belonging to the STS-107 crew and two volunteers who were killed in the search.
Classes in the museum's Digital Learning Center are taught live through video conferencing with NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. NASA has even donated surplus Shuttle parts to help illustrate how Columbia met its eventual demise.
The museum also tells the story of the thousands of volunteers from East Texas and around the country who took part in a months-long recovery effort.
Free admission will be offered to all museum visitors on Monday.
For more information on the museum, visit http://www.nasacolumbiamuseum.com/.