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Press Release
Media Contact: 800-787-7223 or press@space-frontier.org
Space Frontier Foundation Saddened Over Loss of Columbia and Crew, Urges "Incredible Quest" to Continue

STS 107 crew photo
The crew of STS 107. "These people were heroes of the highest order." Photo courtesy NASA.
Nyack, NY, February 1, 2003 – The members of the Space Frontier Foundation offer their condolences to the families, friends and co-workers of the brave crew of the space shuttle Columbia, STS 107.

"These people were heroes of the highest order," stated Rick Tumlinson, the Foundation's Founder. "They, like all of those who reach for the stars, shared in a dream that will not die. The opening of the space frontier is the ultimate calling of our time, and those who answer that call are heroes. We call for America and the world to not give up on this incredible quest."

"Those of us in the space community have known since Challenger that accidents will happen on the edge of any frontier," stated Tumlinson. "That doesn't diminish the sorrow, but instead reminds us of the importance of this work, and the greatness of the people and institutions that have taken it on for all of us on planet earth. Instead of deterring us from the work, it should spur us on."

He concluded: "Now is not the time to talk of the hows and whys of this tragedy, as investigations have already begun by those whose job it is to understand such things. In the end, findings will be made and conclusions brought to light and a discussion and debate can be had as to what our next steps will be. There is little to say right now other than to praise the lost heroes. Our greatest tribute to them is to continue their work and never falter in our commitment to realize their legacy.

“Our hearts go out to the families of this brave crew, and their co-workers at NASA. There are no words that can adequately express our sadness."


The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization of people dedicated to opening the Space Frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. Our goals include protecting the Earth's fragile biosphere and creating a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the unlimited energy and material resources of space. Our purpose is to unleash the power of free enterprise and lead a united humanity permanently into the Solar System.

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The Frontier Enabling Test
Our definition of a "frontier enabling" technology or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the space frontier for private citizens and companies, enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated in space. In other words, is the project or policy going to provide a return on the national investment, if we define "return" to be the economically sustainable human habitation of space?

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