Bringing Columbia Home

Publisher : Simon and Schuster

ISBN-13 : 1628728523

Page : 386 pages

Rating : 4.5/5 from 523 voters

The “gripping and dramatic” inside story of the epic search and recovery operation after the Columbia shuttle disaster that united thousands of Americans (Booklist). Voted the Best Space Book of the Year by the Space Hipsters On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated on reentry before the nation’s eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center, was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history—an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. Written by Leinbach, this is the definitive inside story of the disaster, the recovery, and the inspiring response, sharing the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible. Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, and dedicated to the astronauts and recovery search persons who lost their lives, this is “a gripping account of a fatal tragedy and the impressive and deeply emotional human response that ensued” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). “Despite the dramatic tragedy at the beginning of the book, it's the quiet stories of perseverance and camaraderie that will linger longest.” —Christian Science Monitor “Vividly capture[s] the intensity of those very difficult days...The book also reminded me of the spirit of the American people who selflessly worked together to help NASA in its hour of greatest need. It’s a message we all need to remember these days.” —Scott Kelly

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