"Columbia Point" Mountain Peak Named to Honor Fallen Comrades
To honor the memory of the seven Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts, a 14,000-foot
mountain peak in Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains has been renamed Columbia
Columbia Point is located on the east side of Kit Carson Mountain. On the northwest shoulder of the same mountain is Challenger Point, a peak of the same height previously named in memory of the astronauts of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded soon after liftoff on January 28, 1986.
"The people of NASA and the families of the Columbia crew are humbled and grateful for this unique American honor that the Interior Department has bestowed upon the crew of STS-107," NASA Administrator O'Keefe said. "When people look upon these mountains, they see the challenge of the American frontier -- bold in vision, courageous in spirit and endless in horizon. The crew of Columbia, like the Challenger before her had these qualities at their core. These mountains are a natural testament to their memory, their spirit of exploration and will endure forever."
Relatives of the Columbia astronauts joined NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton at the naming ceremony held at the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, June 10 2003