NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Apollo, Challenger, Columbia Lessons Learned Program (ACCLLP) focused on space shuttle Columbia and crew recovery efforts during an employee event Jan. 26. The theme of the presentation was “Columbia: Lessons and Legends of Recovery.”
When Columbia and her crew of seven were lost during re-entry 15 years ago, the recovery efforts became the largest ground search in the history of the United States. Federal, state, county and local agencies, in addition to thousands of patriotic American citizens, joined together to help with recovery efforts that focused mainly in Lufkin, Texas.
Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana served as the moderator for a panel discussion that included several guests with powerful direct connections to that fateful day and the recovery efforts. They were Dave King, former director of Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and NASA Columbia Recovery director; Mike Leinbach, former shuttle launch director; Jonathan Ward, author and space historian; Gerry Schumann, NASA Mishap Investigation manager; Greg Cohrs, U.S. Forestry Service ranger, stationed in Hemphill, Texas, close to Lufkin; and Mike Ciannilli, ACCLLP manager.
“It’s important to have our day of remembrance,” Cabana said. “We have a huge challenge in front of us as we prepare for our next journey.”
For more information about ACCLLP, go to https://go.nasa.gov/2DXQtp9.