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Statement of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher on the Loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia

Feb 1, 2003

Washington, Feb 1, 2003 - Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the Columbia Space Shuttle crew. This is a horrific loss for the nation as well as the world, but we should not forget the ultimate sacrifice sometimes space exploration requires of men and women who are dedicated to pushing the boundaries. We must not lose sight of the fact that our continued drive to the stars serves as a tribute to those who make that sacrifice in the name of humanity.

Earlier today, NASA officials reported that the families of Columbia's crew's have a simple request of our space program: find out what happened, fix it, and move on. No one could say it any better. Now is the time for the Administration and Congress to support the efforts of Sean O'Keefe and the good people of NASA to investigate the events that led up to today's tragedy.

Once the problem is identified, we need to get moving on this great adventure as quickly as possible. We must continue to find new ways of improving our space program by discovering new innovative technologies. We must do this for our nation, our children, and for the families of Columbia's crew.