(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.)
108th Congress Rept. 108-62
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session Part 1
COLUMBIA ORBITER MEMORIAL ACT
April 8, 2003.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Smith of New Jersey, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 1297]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred the
bill (H.R. 1297) to require the construction at Arlington
National Cemetery of a memorial to the crew of the Columbia
Orbiter, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon
without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.
The reported bill reflects the Committee's consideration of
On March 13, 2003, Representative C. W. Bill Young
introduced H.R. 1297, to require the construction at Arlington
National Cemetery of a memorial to the crew of the Columbia
On April 3, 2003, the full Committee met and ordered H.R.
1297 reported favorably to the House by unanimous voice vote.
Summary of the Reported Bill
H.R. 1297 would:
1. LRequire the Secretary of the Army, in consultation with
the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, to construct at Arlington National Cemetery a
memorial marker honoring the seven members of the crew of the
Columbia Orbiter who died on February 1, 2003.
2. LMake available $500,000 from the Operation and
Maintenance, Army, account appropriated under title II of the
Department of Defense Appropriations Act for 2003 (Public Law
107-248), for construction of the memorial.
3. LAuthorize the Administrator of the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration to accept gifts and donations of
services, money, and property for the purpose of the
construction of the memorial.
4. LAuthorize the Administrator to transfer services,
money, and property to the Secretary of the Army for the
purpose of the construction of the memorial marker. Any money
transferred would be merged into the funds available from the
Operation and Maintenance, Army, account.
5. LAuthorize the Administrator to accept gifts and
donations for construction of the memorial for five years
following the date of enactment of this Act.
Background and Discussion
On January 16, 2003, at 10:39 a.m., the STS-107 Columbia
launched into orbit for a 16-day microgravity research mission.
Columbia was the oldest orbiter in the Shuttle fleet. In 1981,
it was the first space shuttle to fly into Earth orbit. This
was the 113th Shuttle Mission for Columbia. On board were seven
astronauts: Crew Commander Rick Husband (Colonel, U.S. Air
Force), Shuttle Pilot William McCool (Commander, U.S. Navy),
Payload Commander Michael Anderson (Lieutenant Colonel, U.S.
Air Force), Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla, Ph.D., Mission
Specialist David Brown (Captain, U.S. Navy), Mission Specialist
Laurel Blair Salton Clark, M.D. (Captain, U.S. Navy), and
Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon (Colonel, Israel Air Force). STS-
107 Columbia was the first space flight experience for all but
three of the crew members. The crew worked 24 hours a day in
two alternating shifts, and conducted approximately 80
At 8:15 a.m. EST, on February 1, 2003, Columbia decelerated
to begin the reentry phase into the atmosphere for a planned
landing at Kennedy Space Center. At 8:52 a.m., Columbia crossed
over the coast of California. At 8:58 a.m., Columbia was over
New Mexico. Loss of communication with the crew and of data
occurred shortly after 8:59 a.m. About 16 minutes before its
scheduled landing, the shuttle broke up while traveling at
12,500 miles per hour at an altitude of 207,135 feet over East
Central Texas, resulting in the loss of both the Columbia and
Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, Captain Brown, and Captain
Clark are interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
H.R. 1297 would authorize the construction of a memorial
honoring the seven crew members of STS-107 Columbia, all of
whom excelled in their careers and died while fulfilling their
dreams of traveling in space.
A precedent for this memorial at Arlington National
Cemetery currently exists. On January 28, 1986, the Shuttle
Challenger exploded just seconds after take off, killing all
seven crew members on board. The pilot of the Challenger,
Captain Michael Smith, and the Shuttle Commander, Francis
``Dick'' Scobee, were interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
The unidentified remains of all seven astronauts were later
interred near Commander Scobee's grave. On June 12, 1986, the
99th Congress passed a concurrent resolution authorizing the
Secretary of the Army to construct and place a memorial at
Arlington National Cemetery honoring all seven members of the
Challenger crew. The memorial was dedicated on March 21, 1987.
It is the Committee's intent that a memorial similar in
stature to the Challenger memorial be erected in honor of the
Section 1 would provide that this Act be cited as the
``Columbia Orbiter Memorial Act''.
Section 2(a) would require the Secretary of the Army, in
consultation with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration, to construct at Arlington National
Cemetery, a memorial marker honoring the seven crew members of
the Columbia Orbiter who died on February 1, 2003, during the
landing of space shuttle mission STS-107.
Section 2(b) would provide that $500,000 from title II of
the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2003 (Public Law
107-248), Operation and Maintenance, Army, be available for the
construction of the memorial marker required by subsection (a).
Section 3(a) would provide the Administrator of the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration the authority to
accept gifts and donations of services, money and property
(including personal, tangible, or intangible property) for the
purpose of an appropriate memorial or monument, whether such
memorial or monument is constructed by the Administrator or is
the memorial marker required by section 2.
Section 3(b)(1) would provide authority for the
Administrator to transfer to the Secretary of the Army any
services, money, or property accepted by the Administrator for
the purpose of the construction of the memorial marker.
Section 3(b)(2) would require that any moneys transferred
to the Secretary under paragraph 3(1) be merged with
appropriated amounts from the Operation And Maintenance, Army
Section 3(c) would provide that the authority for the
Administrator to accept gifts and donations for the
construction of a memorial expires five years after date of
enactment of this Act.
Performance Goals and Objectives
The reported bill would authorize a memorial in Arlington
National Cemetery in honor of the Columbia Shuttle crew, who
died on February 1, 2003. The Cemetery's performance goals and
objectives are established in annual performance plans and are
subject to the Committee's regular oversight.
Statement of the Views of the Administration
At the time of consideration, views of the Administration
were not available.
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
The following letter was received from the Congressional
Budget Office concerning the cost of the reported bill:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, April 4, 2003
Hon. Christopher H. Smith,
Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1297, the Columbia
Orbiter Memorial Act.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Melissa E.
Zimmerman, who can be reached at 226-2840.
H.R. 1297, Columbia Orbiter Memorial Act, As ordered reported by the
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs on April 3, 2003
H.R. 1297 would direct the Secretary of the Army to
construct a memorial marker located in Arlington National
Cemetery to honor the astronauts who died in the Columbia space
shuttle accident on February 1, 2003, and would earmark
$500,000 from funds made available by title II of the
Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2003 to be used to
construct the memorial marker. The bill also would authorize
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to
collect donations that may be transferred to the Secretary of
the Army to pay for construction of the memorial.
According to information provided by Arlington National
Cemetery, CBO expects that the Columbia Orbiter Memorial would
be similar in size and cost to an existing memorial marker
dedicated to the astronauts who died in the Challenger space
shuttle accident in 1986. That memorial marker was dedicated in
1987 and cost about $10,000.
After adjusting the cost of the Challenger memorial marker
to account for inflation, CBO estimates that implementing H.R.
1297 would cost less than $20,000 and that some of that cost
may be offset by donations collected by NASA. (Donations are
recorded on the budget as revenues.)
H.R. 1297 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
On April 2, 2003, CBO transmitted cost estimates for H.R.
1297 as ordered reported by the House Committee on Science on
March 26, 2003, and for S. 628 as passed by the Senate on March
18, 2003. All three versions of the legislation are identical,
as are the three estimates.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Melissa E.
Zimmerman, who can be reached at 226-2840. This estimate was
approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for
Statement of Federal Mandates
The reported bill would not establish a federal mandate
under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, Public Law 104-4.
Statement of Constitutional Authority
Pursuant to Article I, section 8, of the United States
Constitution, the reported bill is authorized by Congress'
power to ``provide for the common Defense and general Welfare
of the United States.''