Texas Tech to commemorate Columbia shuttle explosion Thursday - FOX34 Lubbock

Texas Tech to commemorate Columbia shuttle explosion Thursday

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The nation will observe the 15th anniversary of the space shuttle Columbia explosion Thursday. 

The craft broke up in the Texas skies, taking the lives of Coronado graduate Willie McCool, Texas Tech alum Rick Husband, and five other astronauts.

NASA blames a combination of critical hardware failure and human error for the detonation. The fault, heat shielding foam and carbon tiles plating the exterior.

Former chief of the astronaut corps, Col. Steven Lindsey, will speak at Texas Tech commemorations.

"It was a horrible thing, in hindsight, even 15 years later," Col. Lindsey said. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about them and the friends I lost, but I would like to think we served them well by doing the right thing and learning from our mistakes and improving spaceflight. Spaceflight is always going to be dangerous and we just have to be nearly perfect in our execution to prevent things like this from happening."

Col. Lindsey will speak at a special exhibit at the Silent Wings Museum: "Columbia: Fifteen Years After."

It's a collaboration between Tech's Southwest Collection, the museum and the Aviation Heritage Foundation.

For more information, click here

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