WASHINGTON, April 22, 2003 – A memorial to honor astronauts of doomed space shuttle Columbia will be built in Arlington National Cemetery near the marker honoring shuttle Challenger's crew, NASA said on Tuesday.
President George W. Bush approved the memorial last week, the U.S. space agency said in a statement.
“A national memorial in the nation's capital will serve as a reminder about what the crew of Columbia stood for: bravery, honor and the quest for knowledge,” NASA chief Sean O'Keefe said in the statement.
Bush authorized $500,000 for the memorial and NASA may also collect gifts and donations over the next five years for the project.
Columbia's mid-air break-up on February 1, 2003, killed all seven astronauts aboard. An investigation into the disaster is proceeding.
The 1986 Challenger accident also killed seven astronauts.
S 628 ES
To require the construction at Arlington National Cemetery of a memorial to the crew of the Columbia Orbiter.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Columbia Orbiter Memorial Act'.
SEC. 2. CONSTRUCTION OF MEMORIAL TO CREW OF COLUMBIA ORBITER AT ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY.
(a) CONSTRUCTION REQUIRED- The Secretary of the Army shall, in consultation with the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, construct at an appropriate place in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, a memorial marker honoring the seven members of the crew of the Columbia Orbiter who died on February 1, 2003, over the State of Texas during the landing of space shuttle mission STS-107.
(b) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- Of the amount appropriated or otherwise made available by title II of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2003 (Public Law 107-248) under the heading `OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, ARMY', $500,000 shall be available for the construction of the memorial marker required by subsection (a).
SEC. 3. DONATIONS FOR MEMORIAL FOR CREW OF COLUMBIA ORBITER.
(a) AUTHORITY TO ACCEPT DONATIONS- The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration may accept gifts and donations of services, money, and property (including personal, tangible, or intangible property) for the purpose of an appropriate memorial or monument to the seven members of the crew of the Columbia Orbiter who died on February 1, 2003, over the State of Texas during the landing of space shuttle mission STS-107, whether such memorial or monument is constructed by the Administrator or is the memorial marker required by section 2.
(b) TRANSFER- (1) The Administrator may transfer to the Secretary of the Army any services, money, or property accepted by the Administrator under subsection (a) for the purpose of the construction of the memorial marker required by section 2.
(2) Any moneys transferred to the Secretary under paragraph (1) shall be merged with amounts in the account referred to in subsection (b) of section 2, and shall be available for the purpose referred to in that subsection.
(c) EXPIRATION OF AUTHORITY- The authority of the Administrator to accept gifts and donations under subsection (a) shall expire five years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Passed the Senate March 18, 2003.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard