In ‘Columbia: Final Voyage’ aerospace writer Philip Chien, who has over 20 years’ experience covering the US space program, provides a unique insight into the crew members who lost their lives in the Columbia disaster. Chien interviewed all seven crew members several times and got to know them as individuals. He reviews in detail their training, their scientific work and other activities during their successful 16-day flight, the background of the accident itself and a detailed first-hand account of what happened that fateful day in February 2003. The author provides a comprehensive and personal look at both the Columbia astronauts and the STS-107 mission, together with a behind-the-scenes account of other people involved in the mission and their personal reactions to the accident.
Forward by Jonathan B. Clark, widower of Columbia astronaut Laurel Clark
Introduction by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin
A Modest Mission.- A Modest Mission.- Mission Makers.- Rick Husband: The Boy from Amarillo.- Willie McCool: Running Man.- Dave Brown: Pilot, Doctor, Gymnast.- Kalpana Chawla: The Girl from India.- Mike Anderson: The Kid Who Wanted to Fly.- Laurel Clark: Submarine Doctor, Mother.- Ilan Ramon: Israel’s First Space Traveler.- Dodging Bullets: The Astronauts Who Weren’t Selected.- It Isn’t Just the Astronauts.- The Long Road to Launch.- A NASA Primer.- The Eighteen Delays.- Training for the Mission.- Presenting NASA to the World.- Prequel: STS-112 and STS-113.- Preparing for Launch.- Launch Day.- Behind the Scenes.- Living in Space.- Sixteen Days in Space.- Flight Day 2: MEIDEX, Phab4, ARMS, Ascent Video.- Flight Day 3: Calcium Kinetics, Press Interviews.- Flight Day 4: LSP, Spacehab Problems.- Flight Day 5: VCD, MPFE.- Flight Day 6: Ariel Sharon Call, Internet Questions.- Flight Day 7: MGM, Astroculture.- Flight Day 8: SOFBALL, CIBX.- Flight Day 9: S*T*A*R*S, FREESTAR.- Flight Day 10: BDS, BRIC, OSTEO.- Flight Day 11: ZCG, Biopack.- Flight Day 12: Ship-to-Ship Call, FRESH.- Flight Day 13: Mist, Biotube, Challenger Anniversary.- Flight Day 14: Press Conference.- Flight Day 15: MEIDEX, External Spacehab Payloads.- Flight Day 16: Automated Payloads, Preparing to Come Home.- February 1, 2003.- Reentry.- The Accident.- Mission Control on Landing Day.- What Should Have Happened.- The Media’s Coverage of STS-107.- The First Hours After the Accident.- Viewing Columbia’s Reentry.- Where Were You ...?.- The Public’s Reaction.- Aftermath.- The Search for Debris.- Other Evidence.- Completing the Investigation.- Kooks and Myths.- Was a Rescue Possible?.- Memorials.- Legacy: The Science Not Lost.