(House of Representatives - February 03, 2004)

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[Pages H258-H263]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to 
the resolution (H. Res. 507), expressing the profound sorrow of the 
House of Representatives on the anniversary of the accident that cost 
the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia their lives, and extending 
heartfelt sympathy to their families.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                              H. Res. 507

       Whereas February 1, 2004, marks the one year anniversary of 
     the accident that claimed the Space Shuttle Columbia and the 
     lives of seven heroic astronauts that made up its crew;
       Whereas, while in orbit, Columbia's experienced crew 
     conducted important microgravity research into the life 
     sciences, physical sciences, and space and earth sciences, in 
     addition to promoting education initiatives;
       Whereas the Columbia experienced a structural failure that 
     resulted in its destruction over the States of Texas and 
     Louisiana as it approached to land on February 1, 2003;
       Whereas the seven crew members of STS-107, Rick D. Husband 
     (Commander), William C. McCool (Pilot), Michael P. Anderson 
     (Payload Commander), Kalpana Chawla (Mission Specialist), 
     David M. Brown (Mission Specialist), Laurel B. Clark (Mission 
     Specialist), and Ilan Ramon (Payload Specialist) exhibited 
     unparalleled bravery and commitment to the goal of exploring 
     space and advancing mankind's search for knowledge in the 
       Whereas Rick Husband, 45, was a Colonel in the United 
     States Air Force, a test pilot, and a veteran of STS-96, and 
     held degrees from Texas Tech University and California State 
     University, Fresno;
       Whereas William C. McCool, 41, was a Commander in the 
     United States Navy and test pilot, and held degrees from the 
     United States Naval Academy and the University of Maryland;
       Whereas Michael P. Anderson, 43, was a Lieutenant Colonel 
     in the United States Air Force, a former pilot instructor and 
     tactical officer, and a veteran of STS-89, and held degrees 
     from the University of Washington and Creighton University;
       Whereas Kalpana Chawla, 41, was an aerospace engineer, a 
     Federal Aviation Administration Certified Flight Instructor, 
     and a veteran of STS-87, and held degrees from Punjab 
     Engineering College (India), the University of Texas at 
     Arlington, and the University of Colorado, Boulder;
       Whereas David M. Brown, 46, was a Captain in the United 
     States Navy, a naval aviator, and a naval flight surgeon, and 
     held degrees from the College of William and Mary and Eastern 
     Virginia Medical School;
       Whereas Laurel B. Clark, 41, was a Commander in the United 
     States Navy and naval flight surgeon, and held degrees from 
     the University of Wisconsin, Madison;
       Whereas Ilan Ramon, 48, was a Colonel in the Israeli Air 
     Force, a fighter pilot, and Israel's first astronaut;
       Whereas these brave astronauts will never be forgotten by 
     the National Aeronautics and Space Administration family and 
     all those who believe in the importance of exploring our 
     universe; and
       Whereas when the National Aeronautics and Space 
     Administration's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit landed 
     on Mars on January 3, 2004, it brought with it a small 
     commemorative plaque bearing the names of the seven 
     astronauts, establishing an enduring memorial on another 
     planet to the fallen crew of Space Shuttle Columbia: Now, 
     therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the House of Representatives does offer its 
     gratitude to the seven Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts and 
     its heartfelt sympathy to their families on the anniversary 
     of their loss, with the reassurance that this sacrifice will 
     not have been made in vain, but will strengthen this Nation's 
     resolve to continue their journey of discovery.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Burgess) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Lampson) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Burgess).

                             General Leave

  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their 
remarks and include extraneous material on H. Res. 507.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
majority leader of the House of Representatives, the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. DeLay).
  Mr. DeLAY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Burgess) for bringing this very important resolution to the floor of 
the House.
  Mr. Speaker, we can still see their faces. Their friends can still 
hear their hearty laughter. And their families can still feel their 
embrace. At every mention of their names or reminder of their courage, 
our hearts ache with the hollow pangs of mourning and our thoughts and 
prayers turn to their loved ones. For there is no loss like the loss of 
a hero. And 1 year ago our Nation and our world lost seven.

[[Page H259]]

  Though they came from different nations, practiced different faiths, 
and sought answers to different mysteries, the winding road of 
providence brought them all to one place on earth where their common 
calling could be answered. They came to Johnson Space Center.
  And there, at America's great laboratory of the impossible, they 
trained and studied, alongside the finest collection of public servants 
that I know, inching ever closer to their dreams and their destiny. And 
though we still mourn 1 year later, it is their lives that we honor in 
this resolution, not their loss.
  Columbia's ``corps of discovery'' may be gone, but death has no power 
over the memory of heroes. It is left to us, then, in this House and in 
this Nation to live up to the challenge their lives of service issued: 
Will we carry on America's mission in space or will we ignore our 
deepest yearnings for knowledge and tether mankind to ``the surly bonds 
of earth''? I think we know what the Columbia seven would say.
  And if there be any doubt, just walk outside on a clear night, look 
into the southern sky and ask them.
  For immortal in death, the Columbia heroes live on at home in the 
heavens, among the ancient stars that first stirred their souls, 
looking down on us all with love and hope, lighting our way through the 
darkness. They will answer you.
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LAMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I come to this floor today just as I did a year ago, 
unfortunately, with a feeling of sadness.
  I am an original cosponsor of this resolution that is before us 
today, House Resolution 507, because I believe that it is important 
that we never forget the sacrifices made by the brave and dedicated men 
and women of STS-107: Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, 
Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark, Ilan Ramon. Each one of them 
gave the last full measure of devotion to the cause of space 
  There have been numerous ceremonies over the past few days to 
remember the crew of Columbia, including yesterday's memorial service 
at Arlington Cemetery. I think it is important for this body as well, 
the United States House of Representatives, also to pause in our 
deliberations to express again our profound gratitude for their service 
and our deepest sympathies to their families and loved ones on the 
anniversary of their deaths.
  Back home, the space shuttle and the International Space Station take 
on a very personal dimension. All the astronauts in the NASA program, 
including the seven aboard the Columbia, are a part of our community. 
They are our friends, our neighbors. Their kids go to schools with our 
kids. They shop at the same grocery stores and pray at the same 
churches and synagogues.
  The employees and contractors of Johnson Space Center are connected 
to the astronauts not just at work but in their everyday life. The 
community at JSC is an extended family.
  Amidst all the lofty talk, ceremonies, and resolutions, let us not 
forget that a community and seven families lost friends, brothers, 
fathers, sons, wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters. Back in Clear 
Lake, right off the campus of JSC, there is a place called Frenchie's. 
It is a place where astronauts and employees go after work to relax a 
bit, have a meal or something, share their experiences and bond in a 
very special way.
  I stopped by there the Saturday evening after the Columbia tragedy, 
and that day there was a feeling of crushing sadness and loss but also 
a hope that the vision and dream that those seven heroes died for will 
not be lost but instead will be reborn, that their loss will remind the 
American people of the great challenge we face and the prospect of a 
better world that the space program gives us.
  The crew of STS-107 would not want us to dwell only on their deaths. 
Instead, I believe they would want us to reflect on the cause for which 
they gave their lives: the exploration of space. And I have no doubt 
that they would want us to rededicate ourselves to the task of ensuring 
that this Nation continues that exploration.
  It is unfortunate that it took the Columbia tragedy to remind many of 
our citizens that space flight is not routine, it is hard. It is 
dangerous. The crew of Columbia knew that and yet they did not cease 
from exploring. Neither should we.
  We have serious work to do over the next coming months in determining 
the best path for our America's space program. There are likely to be 
strong opinions and differing views on how best to proceed. And that is 
all to the good. America's space program is too important to the future 
of this country for us not to give it serious attention.
  I welcome the discussion and debate as long as it leads to some clear 
decisions and commitments by both the Congress and the White House. 
However, that is not a task for today. Today we pause to remember the 
crew of STS-107, to offer our condolences to all who loved them.
  I speak today not just as a Member of Congress, but as part of a 
community that firmly believes in what Rick Husband and William McCool 
and Michael Anderson and David Brown and Kalpana Chawla and Laurel 
Blair and Ilan Ramon gave their lives for.
  On behalf of the Ninth District of Texas and the people of the 
Johnson Space Center and that community, I urge this country and this 
body to go forward, and I urge my colleagues to join us in support of 
H. Res. 507.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, on January 16, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia lifted 
off from Kennedy Space Center on a 16-day mission. The mission would 
take the Columbia seven astronauts on a journey of over 6 million 
miles. While in orbit the STS-107 conducted important microgravity 
research in areas that would impact the lives of all mankind.

                              {time}  1430

  Mr. Speaker, like many who live in north Texas, I was home in the 
district that weekend, and I will never forget the sonic boom, a sonic 
boom that was more felt than heard, that morning in north Texas. When 
Columbia broke up in the Texas sky on the morning of February 1, 2003, 
the seven astronauts aboard were 16 minutes from home, 16 minutes from 
completion of a successful mission, 16 minutes from once again seeing 
their loved ones.
  The final comm check to Columbia from mission control at Johnson 
Space Center went unanswered. The families awaiting the crew's return 
at Kennedy were welcomed by an empty sky.
  For those looking up at the north Texas sky that morning, it was 
painfully evident that something had gone terribly amiss.
  Today it is our duty to honor the seven brave astronauts who perished 
in the Shuttle Columbia accident a little over a year ago. The crew 
included Commander Rick Husband, Pilot William McCool, Payload 
Commander Michael Anderson, Mission Specialist David Brown, Mission 
Specialist Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist Laurel Blair Salton 
Clark, and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon.
  Knowing full well the dangers of space flight, they faced them 
willingly. Because of their courage, we will miss them even more.
  During the past year NASA has undergone a serious investigation in 
the causes of this accident. And over the last year the agency has 
learned from its tragedies as well as its triumphs. The recent success 
of the Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, show that the United States 
is a leader in space exploration. But we must remember that failures in 
this realm can often have very human consequences. Since the loss of 
Columbia, the President and Congress have been working to map out a 
clear mission for NASA and to restructure human space flight programs 
around that mission. As we continue this process, we cannot afford to 
forget the memories of the seven Columbia astronauts that fateful day.
  Yesterday, the Administrator of NASA, Sean O'Keefe, dedicated a 
memorial to the Columbia astronauts at Arlington National Cemetery. In 
a place dedicated to fallen liberators and defenders of freedom, it is 
a fitting memorial to honor those who gave their lives in pursuit of 
knowledge and in pursuit of discovery.
  President Bush has said the cause of ``exploration and discovery is 
not an option that we choose. It is a desire

[[Page H260]]

written into the human heart. We find the best among us, send them 
forth into unmapped darkness, and pray that they will return. They go 
in peace for all mankind and all mankind is in their debt.''
  Our sympathies go out to the grieving families and, indeed, the 
sympathies of this body and of a grateful Nation. It is an honor to 
stand here today to honor the sacrifices of these explorers.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LAMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Houston, Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee), who represents many of the 
friends and family of the lost crew members of the STS-107.
  (Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Lampson) very much. And might I take a personal point of 
privilege to congratulate the gentleman as the new ranking member of 
the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics of our very great committee, 
the Committee on Science.
  Let me also thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Burgess) for his 
leadership in allowing us to come to the floor today and join in a 
bipartisan manner of celebration but also commemoration.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support H. Res. 507 enthusiastically but 
with some sorrow and some recognition. Allow me to acknowledge that day 
as one of public and global shock. And so we continue to mourn publicly 
and globally, not just in the United States, but around the world.
  As my good friend and colleague said, these were our friends and 
neighbors, those of us who came from Houston. We knew them as they 
worshipped, as they have practiced their trade, but also as they 
played. So I rise in support of this resolution and commend my 
colleagues from Texas for taking the time to honor the crew of the 
Space Shuttle Columbia who lost their lives a year ago.
  When the Columbia went down the world lost a great symbol of human 
ingenuity and creativity. Those of us from Houston, as I said, lost 
friends and neighbors and, of course, family members and brothers and 
sisters, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles and a myriad of 
  I would like to look back one more time on what we have lost, seven 
of humankind's greatest heroes, Colonel Rick Husband, Lieutenant 
Colonel Michael Anderson, Commander Laurel Clark, Captain David Brown, 
Commander William McCool, Dr. Kapana Chawla, and Colonel Ilan Ramon.
  Let me also acknowledge the thousands upon thousands of NASA 
employees around the Nation. I know they mourn and I know they care as 
they are caring and mourning at this time. I also want to pay special 
respect to Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Husband, who graced our presence on 
Sunday, February 1, in their words and remarks at Grace Community 
Church, again, a place of honor for those two men, along with their 
colleagues where they attended and where I was able to worship with 
them just a year ago as we honored and mourned those great fallen 
  Those seven courageous explorers paid the ultimate price to improve 
our understanding of the universe, to advance our medical and 
engineering services, to keep the United States' economy on the cutting 
edge of technology, and to inspire young and old.
  We look forward to this budgeting process where we hope the President 
will join us by using his economic and engine arm, if you will, to push 
the vision forward by the right appropriations for what we may need to 
  Mr. Speaker, I am also a proud cosponsor of this resolution as was 
noted. I thank the sponsors who are on the floor in joining with 238 of 
my other colleague who have joined me in cosponsoring the bill to award 
the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to the seven members of the 
Columbia crew.
  I ask my colleagues to join us in signing on to this resolution, to 
give to the families a special Congressional Gold Medal that they can 
hold and pass down to their children and generations to come.
  This gold medal would honor the families of the crew members by 
awarding them this particular tribute, and it would also require the 
Secretary of the Treasury to make bronze duplicates of that medal 
available for sale to the public to serve as an enduring reminder of 
the sacrifice of these brave pioneers. That means that they can have 
something that will add investment to the future of space.
  NASA is a source of dreams for our young and old alike, providing 
insights into the origins, destiny and wonder of our universe. In 
pursuing the noble goal of exploration, NASA also conducts scientific 
space-based research, develops innovations that save lives, spur our 
economy and keep us on the cutting edge of technology. NASA has 
developed systems that make our satellites and communications 
infrastructure more reliable and less vulnerable to cyber-terrorism.
  NASA inspires young engineers and scientists. In essence, Mr. 
Speaker, NASA is worthy of our support. It is worthy of the vision. Let 
us support NASA as we go into 21st century.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution, and commend my 
colleague from Texas for taking the time to honor the crew of Space 
Shuttle Columbia, who lost their lives a year ago. When the Columbia 
went down, the world lost a great symbol of human ingenuity and 
creativity. Those of us from Houston also lost friends and neighbors 
that day. I would like to look back one more time on what we have 
lost--seven of humankind's greatest heroes: Colonel Rick Husband, 
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Anderson, Commander Laurel Clark, Captain 
David Brown, Commander William McCool, Dr. Kapana Chawla, and Colonel 
Ilan Ramon. Those seven courageous explorers paid the ultimate price to 
improve our understanding of the universe, to advance our medical and 
engineering sciences, to keep the United States economy on the cutting 
edge of technology, and to inspire young and old alike.
  Mr. Speaker, I am a proud cosponsor of this resolution, and would 
also like to thank Mr. Burgess for joining with 238 other Members of 
Congress in cosponsoring a bill I have introduced, which would 
posthumously award the seven members of the Columbia crew with the 
Congressional Gold Medal. It would honor the families of the 
crewmembers, but it would do more than that. It would also require the 
Secretary of the Treasury to make bronze duplicates of that medal 
available for sale to the public, to serve as an enduring reminder of 
the sacrifice of those brave pioneers. I am sure sales of those 
medallions would more than pay for the cost of producing the Gold 
Medals. I hope to see that bill go forward soon, as we continue to 
focus on the Columbia, what it meant to us, and what it means to our 
  NASA is a source of dreams for our young and old alike, providing 
insights into the origins, destiny, and wonder, of our universe. In 
pursuing the noble goal of exploration, NASA also conducts scientific 
space-based research, develops innovations that save lives, spur on our 
economy, and keep us on the cutting edge of technology. NASA has 
developed systems that make our satellites and communications 
infrastructure more reliable and less vulnerable to cyberterrorism. 
NASA inspires young engineers, scientists--and all sorts of people who 
want to a part of something truly great and noble--to push their minds 
to new levels of excellence. These people become role models for future 
generations of intellectual pioneers.
  The astronauts aboard the Columbia were of the highest caliber, 
exemplifying our Nation's pioneering ideals and always striving for 
excellence. They were skilled professionals, scientists, clinicians, 
and adventurers. They were family men and women, and we will cherish 
their contributions to our country and the world. The crew of the 
Columbia represented the diversity of our Nation, and our spirit of 
collaboration with other nations.
  We honor the seven members of the crew for their heroism and spirit. 
We pay tribute to the sacrifices made by these men and women on behalf 
of the country. They helped mankind reach new heights. As we look back 
with sorrow on what we lost a year ago, I hope we can also celebrate 
the great accomplishments and spirit of the Columbia crew.
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
York (Mr. Boehlert), the chairman of the Committee on Science.
  Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Texas for 
introducing this resolution and for calling attention to the memory of 
great Americans and an Israeli.
  Husband, McCool, Anderson, Brown, Chawla, Clark, Ramon, One year 
after their tragic deaths, their names remain seared in our national 

[[Page H261]]

  Of course, their loss is felt most deeply by those who call them 
mother, father, husband, wife, neighbor, friends; but they are an 
inspiration to us all. Their deaths have not been in vain. They have 
prompted young people to think about what they can be when they grow up 
and about how Americans take great risk in striving for great 
  Our Nation's space program is built on the dreams and aspirations of 
an exploring people willing to take risk. This Congress is proud of our 
explorers, those who have returned and those few whom fate has held 
  With this resolution we honor the seven men and women who flew the 
Shuttle Columbia's final fateful mission. They will never be forgotten. 
Their memory will live in the hearts and minds of all Americans, and 
explorers throughout the world will always think of them as they gaze 
towards the heavens with wonder and amazement and awe.
  Mr. LAMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Dallas, Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson), in whose district some 
of the shuttle actually came down.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, let me hasten to 
thank the leaders of this resolution and all of the cosponsors and our 
esteemed leaders of the committee.
  I rise today in support of House Resolution 507, expressing the 
profound sorrow of the House of Representatives on the anniversary of 
the accident that cost the lives of the crew of the Space Shuttle 
  Let me express my appreciation to all of the members of the committee 
that has been nonpartisan and cohesive in considering all of our 
concerns coming before that esteemed committee.
  I am very certain that the lives of these people have not been lost 
in vain. This space exploration research program has been one of the 
most successful research programs in the history of our country. We 
know that because we have investigated, we have listened to reports 
that we will improve upon what caused this accident, and we can 
hopefully say that this will never happen again.
  Over 40 years ago the foresight of persons that came along before us 
caused us to get into this type of research. We also owe those leaders 
some homage for their foresight, and I am hoping that we will then have 
the foresight to continue the research.
  Human space exploration is inherently risky. Distance, speed and 
environment that cannot support human life combine to make human space 
flights particularly precarious. Unfortunately, the world has new 
evidence of the dangers associated with space exploration. Millions 
watched as images of a singular, brilliant point of light in the sky 
became two, three and four points of light as the Space Shuttle 
Columbia broke apart over my home State of Texas and my hometown of 
  Today we honor these brave men and women on the anniversary of their 
fateful 16-day mission dedicated to research in physical, life and 
space sciences. This most unfortunate and tragic loss of five men and 
two women, representing the faces of a diversity of races and 
nationalities, will be mourned for these great American heroes and 
heroines, and we will never forget the reasons why they were in space, 
exploring how we can make life better on this Earth.
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LAMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Texas (Mr. Turner). I know that in East Texas thousands of people 
turned out to look for the remains of the shuttle and they came down in 
the district of the gentleman.
  Mr. TURNER of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues, the 
gentleman from Texas (Mr. Burgess) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Lampson), for sponsoring this resolution.
  It was one year ago that we all shared in the tragedy of the Space 
Shuttle Columbia. A team of seven astronauts traveling back home from 
the frontier of outer space paid the ultimate sacrifice as their 
spacecraft broke apart across the blue skies of East Texas. The seven 
who perished showed great patriotism and courage, serving our Nation in 
the field of the space exploration.
  The NASA astronaut corps is the very best and brightest of our 
Nation, men and women unafraid to strap themselves into a spacecraft 
and launch off into the unknown so that our Nation and our world can 
expand our knowledge and improve our well-being.
  These astronauts were pursuing their dreams and ours. And when 
tragedy struck their ship, a Nation in grief united to show honor to 
their service. Over 25,000 workers and volunteers spent months 
searching through the woods and fields of East Texas, seeking to 
recover the Columbia and her crew. In towns like Hemphill, Rusk, 
Nacogdoches, San Augustine and Lufkin, the citizens of East Texas and 
my congressional district responded as did all citizens across America.
  East Texans are patriotic folks who are known to help a neighbor or 
friend in need. For weeks on end they combed through the thickets of 
the piney woods, they cooked meals, they brought in supplies, they gave 
shelter to those who came from all across America to help.

                              {time}  1445

  The NASA family became a part of the East Texas family, and they will 
always remain in our hearts. The scriptures bring us solace and hope in 
times like these. The psalmist David wrote, ``The heavens declare the 
glory of God. The skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day, 
they pour forth speech. Night after night they display knowledge.''
  Today, we remember the crew of the Columbia and their legacy. We 
remember their sacrifice and honor their family and friends who remain 
in our prayers on this difficult anniversary.
  The seven brave astronauts who died would want us to look forward to 
the future with determination to press on. They would want us to uphold 
the mission of NASA in times of tragedy, as well as in times of 
triumph, and most of all, they would want us to keep reaching, to keep 
learning more, to explore more, to venture on into space for the 
benefit of all mankind.
  Today, we honor Colonel Rick Husband, Commander William McCool, Dr. 
Kalpana Chawla, Dr. Laurel Clark, Dr. David Brown, Lieutenant Colonel 
Michael Anderson, Colonel Ilan Ramon. A grateful Nation will always 
remember, and in their memory, may we never cease to reach for the 
  Mr. LAMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Illinois (Mr. Davis), my friend who was visiting in Houston this 
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman for 
yielding me the time.
  I rise today to join with my colleagues in remembering the loss of 
the seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1, 
2003, as well as to express our heartfelt sympathies to the families of 
Rick Husband, commander; William C. McCool, pilot; Michael P. Anderson, 
payload commander; Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; David M. Brown, 
mission specialist; Laurel B. Clark, mission specialist; and Ilan 
Ramon, payload specialist.
  The seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia were on a 16-
day scientific mission. The mission held the promise of answering 
scientific problems that we confront here on earth. The lives and 
sacrifices of these seven men and women should be remembered. That is 
why last year I wrote a letter urging the United States Postal Service 
to design a stamp that would honor them and the space program.
  The space program has meant a great deal to our Nation, and its 
benefits to mankind are enormous. The brave crew of the Shuttle 
Columbia was disembarking from a mission which they believed in and 
loved doing. They are indeed fallen heroes who are held in high regard 
as role models for many children around the world who dream of going to 
space someday.
  Mr. Speaker, these men and women represented the best and the 
brightest of what America and the world has to offer. They were willing 
to go to the outer limits to explore for the benefit of all humanity. 
As Socrates said, ``Man must rise above the earth, to the top of the 
world, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only thus will he 
fully understand the world in which he lives.''
  Once again, our heart goes out to the families and colleagues of 
these brave

[[Page H262]]

men and women who gave the most that they had to offer; indeed their 
lives, for the cost of space.
  Mr. LAMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
American Samoa (Mr. Faleomavaega).
  (Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to extend my 
appreciation and commendation to the managers of this important 
legislation, commending the 1-year anniversary of this tragic event 
that occurred to these seven astronauts that represented our Nation. I 
was privileged to be a member of the congressional delegation that 
personally visited Texas last year when we conducted a very special 
service on behalf of these great Americans.
  I think if there is anything that I can remember well on this special 
service that was held last year was the fact of the diversity of these 
distinguished Americans. I recall one whose ancestry was from the 
country of India, and we had a gentleman also who was a former pilot 
representing the State of Israel, showing the idea that this is not 
just an American project.
  I think what this sacrifice extends in my understanding, and 
certainly my belief, is how much humanity that there was in the efforts 
and the sacrifices that these great people made and certainly I would 
like to extend my condolences and appreciation to the families of these 
seven astronauts who paid the ultimate price, giving of their lives for 
the betterment of this troubled world that we live in.
  Mr. LAMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I have no more speakers at this time. I would just thank 
the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Burgess) for the work he has done on H. 
Res. 507. I urge my colleagues to join us in passage.
  Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, on February 1, 2003, the tragic 
accident of the Space Shuttle Columbia took the lives of seven of our 
finest Americans. One year later, this sad event remains fresh in our 
minds, and we continue to share in the sorrow of those who lost their 
loved ones and family members that terrible day.
  Among the brave astronauts aboard the Columbia was Dr. Laurel Clark 
of Racine, Wisconsin. All of those who knew Laurel were touched by her 
extraordinary life and are still coping with the pain that her absence 
has caused. It is very difficult to lose a mother, a wife, a daughter, 
a sister and a friend, and our thoughts should be with Laurel's family 
and loved ones s they continue to honor her memory.
  Although Laurel Clark lived only 41 years on this earth, she was 
accomplished as a doctor, a scientist and a mother. She poured her 
energy into her many pursuits and showed us that with focus, passion 
and dedication, it is possible to achieve your dreams. Laurel also 
never forgot the importance of family, and it is impossible to quantify 
the joy that she brought to those closest to her.
  Unwavering in her efforts to improve the world, Laurel began with 
those around her. In the end, she made the ultimate sacrifice in the 
name of this cause, hoping that the scientific research she conducted 
in space could provide a better world for all humanity. As we honor the 
life of Laurel Clark, we must never forget the joy, happiness and 
everlasting inspiration that she brought to the world, and we should 
strive to live our lives as she did.
  Ms. WATSON. Mr. Speaker, words are not sufficient to describe how I 
felt on Saturday morning, February 1, 2003, when the Chairman of the 
Democratic Caucus announced that the Space Shuttle Columbia had gone 
down. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families and friends of the 
astronauts we lost. One year later, we remember and honor Columbia's 
crew whose lives were precious to all Americans.
  As part of the positive legacy emanating from the Columbia space 
shuttle disaster, I want to take this opportunity to commend three 
Dorsey High School Students from my Congressional District--Atiabet 
Ijan Amabel, Cristina Mojarro, and Juan Carlos Ortega--for 
participating in the STARS Academy research mission which assisted the 
students, along with their counterparts from China, in formulating and 
constructing a silk worm experiment that was placed aboard the shuttle.
  The STARS Academy is an online cultural and scientific global 
learning program. It incorporates a standards based curriculum in math, 
science, language arts, geography, and technology. On the STS-107 
mission, schools from six countries developed life and physical 
sciences experiments, while working with astronauts, space scientists, 
engineers, and other experts. For this mission the participating 
schools came from: Australia--Spider Experiment; Israel--Crystalline 
fiber growth; Japan--Medaka fish growth; USA--Syracuse Ants Experiment; 
Liechtenstein--Carpenter Bee Experiment; and China & USA--Silk Worm 
  Mr. Speaker, despite the tragic events, this is an historic moment 
for Dorsey High School and its students who participated in the 
silkworm experiment. Their projects and dedication to science are 
fitting honors to the astronauts who lost their lives and an 
inspiration to all future space explorers.
  Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my sorrow for the 
crew and family members of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.
  While Sunday marked the one year anniversary of the space shuttle 
tragedy, the memory and dedication of the Columbia crew must never be 
forgotten. The seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia--six 
American and one Israeli--exemplified the courage and commitment that 
have been the hallmark of America's space program for decades. Their 
efforts to better understand the heavens and advance the cause of 
scientific discovery added greatly to our society and our Nation's 
vision for the future.
  I am especially saddened by the loss of Flight Engineer and Mission 
Specialist Dr. Kalpana Chawla. K.C., as she was known by her friends 
and coworkers, received her master's of aerospace engineering degree 
from the University of Texas at Arlington in my Congressional District.
  A native of India, K.C. was the first woman from her country to enter 
space. Selected amongst thousands of applicants by NASA in 1994, she 
never forgot her time in Arlington or her Indian roots. In fact, among 
some of the items that she took with her into space was a UTA T-shirt 
with ``UT Arlington Aerospace Engineering'' printed on one side and 
``As a matter of fact, I am a rocket scientist,'' on the other.
  K.C. took great pride in her Indian roots. She believed her entry 
into space was a great accomplishment for her country and was impressed 
by the level of support that her fellow Indians expressed for her. In a 
final e-mail that she sent to the students of her hometown school, she 
said: ``The path from dreams to success does exist; may you have the 
vision to find it, the courage to get onto it and the perseverance to 
follow it. Wishing you a great journey.''
  As we stop to remember and reflect upon the life of Dr. Kalpana 
Chawla and her fellow crew members of Columbia, we must assure 
ourselves that their lives were not lost in vain. We must continue the 
mission to explore space and to educate the underprivileged about the 
mission that K.C. and her fellow astronauts embarked upon.
  Mr. Speaker, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of all the 
astronauts as they continue to mourn the loss of these amazing heroes.
  Mr. WELDON of Florida. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honor the crew of 
Columbia. The names Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, 
Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon will now 
forever be linked to the risks and rewards of exploring the frontier. 
They were all extraordinary people.
  Rick Husband. A man of strong faith in God. A man who dreamed of 
taking part in space travel since his childhood in Amarillo, Texas. A 
family man, committed to his community. He set the highest of standards 
for us all.
  William McCool. A man who personified excellence in all he did. From 
San Diego, since the earliest age, he dreamed of flying and followed 
his dream with an unending fount of energy and skill. While gifted, he 
never showed any hubris; in fact, he was always humble--something we 
all could learn from.
  Michael Anderson. From Pittsburgh, he had a drive uncommon to most 
people. He loved science and learning. He followed his passion for 
science. This led him to NASA and space flight. He knew his 
responsibility as an astronaut and took every opportunity to talk to 
schoolchildren about the excitement and value of space exploration.
  Kalpana Chawla. She lived a uniquely American life. Born and raised 
in India, she came to America as an immigrant. She worked hard and 
studied engineering and science. She became an American citizen and 
from there became an astronaut. She made her home nation and her 
adopted nation proud of her in all that she did.
  David Brown. Truly a man for all seasons. He was a physician, a Navy 
pilot, and member of the astronaut corp. Everything he set out to do, 
he accomplished. He had many other goals he was anxious to accomplish 
after this mission was completed.
  Laurel Clark. A wife. A mother. A physician. An astronaut. She was 
aware of what a special honor it was to be selected to fly in space. 
She was thankful for the special opportunity that she had. She lived 
life to the fullest. She enjoyed scuba diving and flying airplanes. 
Everything she did, she loved.

[[Page H263]]

  Ilan Ramon. The first Israeli in space. A dedicated and brave pilot. 
The son of Holocaust survivor. He is an inspiration to a small, 
determined nation.
  Commander Husband, on the evening before they launched, shared with 
his crew and their families, his favorite passage from the book of 
Joshua. This is instructive for all of us as we reflect on this 
tragedy: ``Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people 
to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be 
strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant 
Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that 
you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law 
depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may 
be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous 
and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do 
not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be 
with you wherever you go.''
  That is where we are as a nation right now. We live in a dangerous 
world with many challenges facing us. The measure of a truly great 
nation is one that can face down its challenges on earth and excell and 
lead the world to a higher level.
  That is why we have NASA and why we must recommit ourselves, now more 
than ever, to the dream and adventure of human space flight that was 
such a part of the lives of these brave men and women.
  How we decided to respond to this tragedy will be judged very closely 
by many generations that come after us. I am proud to say that the 
President has risen to the occasion and has charted a bold new 
exploration initiative. We cannot let future generations down and walk 
away from our destiny in space. The Columbia 7 will be memorialized by 
a great, strong, robust return to space by America.
  Ms. BORDALLO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues and our 
Nation in remembering the Columbia space shuttle tragedy of one year 
ago. The people of Guam join their fellow Americans today in 
remembrance, prayer, and tribute for the crew of STS-107 and all that 
they stood for and represented in their careers and lives.
  Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, Rick 
Husband, Willie McCool, and Ilan Ramon were many different things to 
many different people. They were mothers and fathers, wives and 
husbands, daughters and sons, teachers and friends. There is one thing, 
however, that unites them all. They are all heroes in the truest sense 
of the word. Today, we reflect upon their lives and the qualities that 
they embodied. We draw our strength and resolve from the example they 
set and we remain committed to our nation's space program in their 
honor and because of what they have taught us.
  Guam remembers today Commander Willie McCool, who piloted the 
Columbia on that fateful day one year ago. Commander McCool lived in 
Guam while his father served as a Navy pilot and attended Dededo Middle 
School and John F. Kennedy High School. He later married Lani Vallejos 
of Dededo, Guam. While America lost a hero, Guam lost a son in the 
aftermath of the Columbia tragedy. Today I extend my prayers and 
thoughts to his wife Lani, their children, Sean, Christopher, and 
Cameron, and their extended family in Guam. I also extend my prayers 
and thoughts to his parents, Barry and Audrey McCool, and to his father 
and mother-in-law, Albert and Atilana Vallejos, of Dededo, Guam.
  My first bill in Congress was H.R. 672, which renamed the Guam South 
Elementary/Middle School of the Department of Defense Domestic 
Dependents Elementary and Secondary Schools System in honor of 
Commander McCool. President Bush signed this bill into law on April 22, 
2003 and on August 29, 2003 the school was dedicated in his honor 
during an emotional ceremony attended by family, military officials, 
government dignitaries and fellow astronauts Piers Sellers and 
Stephanie Wilson. At this ceremony, Guam Governor Felix Camacho 
posthumously bestowed upon Commander McCool the Ancient Order of the 
Chamorri, the highest award given on behalf of the people of Guam in 
recognition of substantial contributions to the betterment of society. 
Commander McCool's beacon of light will continue to shine and inspire 
young and old alike to look towards the stars and dream big dreams.

  Commander McCool blessed our island and indeed our country with his 
passion, intellect, and purpose. The people of Guam are proud to call 
him one of our own and will always remember him as a role model for our 
children. The inspiration Commander McCool has been to our people is 
something that will not fade and that can never be taken away. This 
past weekend the people of Guam gathered in the Dulce Nombre de Maria 
Cathedral Basilica in our capital city of Hagatna to pay tribute to 
Commander McCool and the Columbia crew, to recall their 
accomplishments, and to pray for their families.
  In remembering Commander McCool I am always touched by a poem he 
wrote while attending Dededo Middle School in Guam. Reading the poem 
today, it has an eerie quality that shows not only his love of Guam, 
but a glimpse into his future career as an astronaut:

     I came to an island in the middle of the sea,
     It was so nice that I jumped for glee.
     There are palm trees, coconuts, and bananas too,
     Plus birds and fish so unbelievable but true.

     It is so nice that no one can complain.
     But he who does must be insane.
     This is such a nice and beautiful place,
     You'd think it was heaven--or outer space.

  He signed this poem, ``William `Willie' McCool, Dededo beep! beep! 
Roadrunner,'' referring to his school's mascot.
  Let us always remember Willie's devotion to his family, to the people 
of Guam, to our country, and to the betterment of the world. I thank my 
colleague, Mr. Burgess, for offering this resolution today. God Bless 
the Columbia crew and their families.
  Mr. LAMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simmons). The question is on the motion 
offered by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Burgess) that the House 
suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 507.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of 
those present have voted in the affirmative.
  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be