May 26, 2019

Fresno State holds 5th anniversary for Columbia shuttle

Two local observances of the 5th anniversary of the Columbia shuttle accident are being planned for the Fresno State campus on Friday, Feb. 1.

The first is a televised NASA national observance to be shown at 7 a.m. in the Engineering East Building Room 120.

The second event, from noon to about 12:20 p.m., will be a memorial wreath presentation at the Col. Rick Husband Memorial Plaque in the lobby of the Engineering East Building.

CSU Fresno President John D. Welty will attend the Astronauts Memorial Foundation’s remembrance service honoring space shuttle Colombia’s STS-107 crew in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Friday, Feb. 1. Welty be accompanied by Sam Iacobellis, Fresno State alumnus and father of the B1 bomber, and Dr. Peter Smits, Fresno State vice president of advancement.

A student cadet detail will present the wreath as a tribute to Fresno State’s alumnus, the late Col. Rick Husband. Husband earned his master’s degree through Engineering’s Edward Air Force Base extension program in 1990. Husband carried a Bulldogs sweatshirt with him on the ill-fated mission.

Columbia’s seven astronauts were lost during re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003 following a 16-day mission. The other members of Husband’s crew were Pilot William McCool, Payload Commander Michael Anderson, Mission Specialists David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, and Laurel Clark, and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon.

Four days after the tragedy, the Fresno State community mourned its fallen alumnus and his crew with a memorial service in the Peace Garden on campus.

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