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Senate Resolution Commemorating the Columbia Astronauts February 05, 2003

Status Report From: United States Senate
Posted: Thursday, February 6, 2003

Congressional Record Excerpt:

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are now 5 minutes evenly divided.

   Mrs. HUTCHISON. I yield 1 1/2 minutes to Senator Bennett from Utah.

   Mr. BENNETT. Madam President, all that needs to be said has been said by the President and others about the shuttle disaster. I simply note the people of Utah are particularly distressed, not only with the human tragedy that affects all Americans but because the space program is very close to the hearts of all Utahans.

   My predecessor in the Senate, Jake Garn, was an astronaut on the shuttle. The Jake Garn Space Center at Utah State University is named after the Senator. The schoolchildren of Utah assembled project ``Star Shine,'' which was a school science project that was carried into space by the shuttle. So all Utahans join in expressing our condolences to the families, and our determination that space exploration by this country will nonetheless still go forward.

   Mrs. HUTCHISON. Madam President, Senator Nelson and I attended, along with many other Senators, the beautiful service yesterday honoring these brave astronauts that we now know so much more about. Today the Senate is commemorating these Columbia astronauts and reconfirming the importance to our country that space research has been and will continue to be.

   In the resolution we talk about U.S. Air Force COL Rick Husband, the mission commander, who was from Texas; U.S. Navy commander, William Willie McCool, the pilot; U.S. Air Force LTC Michael Anderson, payload commander, mission specialist; U.S. Navy CAPT David Brown, mission specialist; U.S. Navy commander Laurel Blair Salton Clark, mission specialist; Dr. Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; and Israeli Air Force COL Ilan Ramon, payload specialist. They were killed in the line of duty. The Senate is honoring them today.

   Debris has been recovered in 38 counties of my State, spreading over a surface area of 28,000 square miles, an area the size of West Virginia. The Space Shuttle Columbia broke up 40 miles above the ground.

   It is my honor to cosponsor this resolution with Senator Nelson, the only Member of the Senate who has actually been on a manned space flight,  and Senator Glenn, of course, before him. He has been a great resource on the committee.

   Before turning it over to Senator Nelson of Florida, I ask for the yeas and nays.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There is a sufficient second.

   The yeas and nays were ordered.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.

   Mr. NELSON of Florida. Madam President, how much time remains in the debate?

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 2 1/2 minutes.

   Mr. NELSON of Florida. Madam President, it is with sadness that I rise to join my colleague from Texas to support this resolution. So many of our colleagues have joined us. We thank you very much for joining us yesterday as we went to the space center in Houston.

   This is a resolution that not only talks about the past, and about bravery, but it talks about the future. It talks not only about honoring the legacy and the lives and the sacrifice of these brave souls but also about fulfilling America's destiny as a nation of explorers and adventurers.

   This resolution is about the vision that ignites the heart of almost every American, to think that we are pushing back the frontier. As we developed this country, we used to push westward. That was our frontier. Now we push upward and explore the heavens.

   I urge our colleagues to join Senator Hutchison and me in supporting this resolution.

   I yield the floor.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the resolution. The yeas and nays have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.

   The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.

   Mr. FRIST. I announce that the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. MCCONNELL) is necessarily absent.

   Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Florida (Mr. GRAHAM), the Senator from Iowa (Mr. HARKIN), the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. LAUTENBERG), and the Senator from Georgia (Mr. MILLER) are necessarily absent.

   I further announce that if present and voting the Senator from Florida (Mr. GRAHAM), the Senator from Iowa (Mr. HARKIN), the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. LAUTENBERG), and the Senator from Georgia (Mr. MILLER) would each vote Aye.

   The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the chamber desiring to vote?

   The result was announced--yeas 95, nays 0, as follows: [List of Senators]

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