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Loss of the STS-107 Crew



All,

The world has lost 7 great heroes today.   The catastrophic loss of the 
Space Shuttle Columbia and her crew was a shock to everyone world-wide.  On 
behalf of the entire Amateur Radio on the International Space Station 
(ARISS) team, I would like to extend our deepest expressions of sympathy to 
the friends and family of the STS-107 crew.

Today's events clearly demonstrated the challenging and sometimes sobering 
aspects of space travel.  Space travel is not easy.  It is hard.  We do our 
best to ensure there are adequate safety nets in place to ensure mission 
success.  But sometimes something goes wrong and we are not 
successful.  Unfortunately, this is what we all experienced today.

It is essential that we learn from what happened from today and use this 
information, and our new heros' spirit, to springboard us to new, safer 
levels of space travel.  Our quest for space must continue despite these 
tragic losses...just like the sailing and arctic explorers of old.

It should be noted that 3 of the 7 crew members on STS-107 were amateur 
radio operators:  Mission Specialists David M. Brown, KC5ZTC, Kalpana 
Chawla, KD5ESI and Laurel Clark, KC5ZSU.  On a personal note, Kalpana 
Chawla or "KC" as she affectionately called, worked closely with the ARISS 
team for several years as our astronaut liaison.  She stepped down from 
this position when she began preparations for the STS-107 shuttle 
flight.  We will deeply miss her tremendous support, positive attitude, and 
heroism.

This is a difficult time for all of us.  Let's work together to keep the 
torch of space travel alive in the hearts and spirits of humans 
worldwide.  And most importantly, please keep the astronauts, their family 
and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Frank H. Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT-NA V.P. for Human Spaceflight Programs
Chairman, ARISS International

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