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Statement of the ESIP Federation and the Foundation for Earth Science on the Tragic Ending to the Space Shuttle Columbia's Mission February 1, 2003

Dave Jones 
President, Federation of Earth Science Information Partners
Dick Wertz
Executive Director - Foundation for Earth Science

Fairfax, Virginia -- It is with deep sadness that we recognize our colleagues whose lives were lost on-board the Space Shuttle Columbia. As a community of earth scientists that works with space-generated data, we are bound by a
special kinship with our space exploring brethren. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those tragically lost and our hope remains with NASA to continue exploring the wonders of space. 

President Bush stated today what many of us were thinking but found difficulty articulating when he said, "The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home." 

The quest into space must continue as the NASA mission so clearly states:

* To improve life here, 
* To extend life to there, 
* To find life beyond 

This mission will continue and it is our role to support this mission by furthering the research, applications and missions into space so we can learn more about our home planet while energizing our children to become the next generation explorers. 

Let us pause to mourn. Let us reflect on their lives. And let us learn from today so we can move forward tomorrow and keep their dreams alive. 

The members of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners and the
Foundation for Earth Science express our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and countrymen of the crew of STS-107. Surely they are looking down on us now urging us to keep going.

RITI is an active ESIP III member of NASA's ESIP (www.esipfed.com). 

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last updated 02.01.2003

 
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