S. RES. 24
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 31, 2013
Mr. Cornyn (for himself, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Thune, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Isakson, Mr. Warner, Mr. Heller, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Coburn, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Rubio, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Brown, Mr. Pryor, Mr. Alexander, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Johanns, Mr. Begich, Mr. Vitter, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Moran, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Wicker, and Mrs. Gillibrand) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to
Commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
Whereas a sense of adventure is innate to the human spirit;
Whereas the urge to explore continues to motivate the United States as a nation;
Whereas the global leadership of the United States is determined by the resolve of the people of the United States;
Whereas the drive to innovate and explore has led the people of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and related industry and education leaders to make important discoveries with a broad impact on humanity, in spite of inherent risk;
Whereas the men and women of the space program of the United States have captured the curiosity of the people of the United States, inspiring generations of scientists, engineers, and pioneers, and delivering technological advances and innovation, scientific research, and international partnerships to the benefit of nearly all sectors of the economy of the United States;
Whereas, on February 1, 2003, the United States joined the world in mourning the loss of 7 astronauts who perished aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia as it re-entered the atmosphere of the Earth;
Whereas United States Air Force Colonel Rick D. Husband,
Mission Commander; United States Navy Commander William
C. McCool, Pilot; United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Michael P.
Anderson, Payload Commander/Mission Specialist; United States Navy Captain
David M. Brown, Mission Specialist; United States Navy Commander Laurel B.
Clark, Mission Specialist; Dr. Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist; and Israeli
Air Force Colonel Ilan Ramon, Payload Specialist were killed in the line of
duty and in pursuit of discovery during the STS–107 mission;
Whereas the people of the United States are driven to continue the exploration and pursuit of discovery with as much passion and determination as these brave men and women;
Whereas an innate curiosity about what lies beyond our world drives us to expand the limits of human exploration and discovery in space, in the furtherance of the leadership and strategic interests of the United States;
Whereas exploring the heavens and the celestial bodies of the solar system is not without great risk and peril;
Whereas the loss of the 7 brave souls aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and others who have sacrificed their lives in pursuit of human space exploration shall forever serve as a solemn reminder of the firm commitment of the United States to devote the capacity and resources necessary to improve safety, minimize risk, and do everything possible to protect the next generation of explorers willing to risk themselves in the service of mankind;
Whereas those involved in the Space Shuttle program of the United States have sought to apply the lessons learned from the Space Shuttle Columbia accident to future human spaceflight by the United States, which included 22 additional program missions and shepherding the Space Shuttle program to its safe and successful conclusion;
Whereas the lessons learned from the Space Shuttle Columbia accident should be applied to current policy of the space program of the United States; and
Whereas the people of the United States will not forget the sacrifice of those 7 determined explorers aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, as well as others who perished in the exploration of the unknown: Now, therefore, be it
That the Senate—
remembers the 7 astronauts who tragically lost their lives aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia as it re-entered the atmosphere of the Earth 10 years ago on February 1, 2003;
expresses its condolences to the friends and families of the astronauts who died that day;
commends those who have honored the memory of the Space Shuttle Columbia over the past decade, including the employees of Federal, State, and local agencies, as well as regular citizens and volunteers, who assisted in the debris recovery and accident investigation process; and
reaffirms the commitment of the people and the Government of the United States to provide the leadership and resources necessary to ensure robust and safe human spaceflight capability in low Earth orbit and beyond in the 21st century, to make certain that the sacrifice of those heroes shall not have been in vain.