NASA lost the space shuttle Columbia 10 years ago Friday and 12 children lost a parent.
A decade later, the youngest is now 15 and the oldest is 32. The oldest son of Columbia's pilot is now a Marine captain with three young children of his own. The commander's daughter is a seminary student. The young boy who lost his astronaut mother now likes scuba diving and parachuting, just like mom.
NASA will remember Columbia's seven astronauts at a public memorial service at Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Friday morning. The shuttle was headed home from a 16-day science mission when it broke apart over Texas on Feb. 1, 2003, because of damage to its left wing.
Flights resumed two years later and the shuttles were retired in 2011.
NASA's space shuttle flights began three decades ago with Columbia and will end this month with the final voyage of Atlantis and the retirement of the fleet. Between, there were triumphs and tragedies.
Cameron County commissioners have agreed to waive 10 years of county taxes as part of an agreement bringing the world's first commercial site for orbital rocket launches to the southernmost tip of Texas.
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