U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (TX-01) this week sponsored the Columbia Space Shuttle Memorial Study Act (H.R. 5692). The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a voice vote.
H.R. 5692 calls for a study to commemorate and memorialize the disintegration of the Space Shuttle Columbia as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere in the spring of 2003. To do this, the bill initiates a study by the Secretary of the Interior to determine the suitability and feasibility of establishing memorials to the Space Shuttle Columbia on parcels of land in east Texas where major debris from the shuttle was recovered.
"Tragically, the wreckage was strewn over hundreds of miles of east Texas and the commitment of our citizens in the effort to recover as much of the wreckage as possible was pivotal in determining the cause of the incident," Gohmert said. "These contributions and the selfless contributions made by the crew of the Columbia deserve this recognition."
A similar bill sponsored by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has also passed the Senate. The study authorized in the House bill is a requirement of the federal government prior to the establishment of any new additions to the National Parks Service.
"This passage moves us very close to the realization of the vision of East Texans who reached out so graciously in the aftermath of the Columbia tragedy. Having a college classmate and friend whose wife was on the Columbia, I also have a personal interest in seeing this become a reality, "Gohmert added.