Interview with NASA deputy assistant administrator of Public Affairs, Bob Jacobs, part three

 

TISH: What was one of your darkest/hardest days/week or season?

 

 

Bob Jacobs:

 

The deaths of our seven astronauts in the Columbia accident in February 2003. There aren’t words to describe the feeling of loss and the scope of the tragedy. Yet, in the face of this horrific event, I saw the very best in humanity. Tens of thousands of volunteers put their lives on hold to help us during the recovery effort. Thousands of NASA employees worked 15 to 20 hours a day for weeks on end without complaint or expectation of any kind of extra compensation. Government agencies dropped what they were doing and offered to help us in any way they could. Today, nearly five years later, it seems like a bad dream. I keep a photograph of the STS-107 crew on my desk as a reminder of what can happen when we don’t get it right. Space exploration is a very difficult and unforgiving adventure. If you think it’s become too common or boring, ask your self why only two other nations (Russia and China) in the entire world can do it?

 

 

STS-107 crew

The STS-107 crew, from the left, Mission Specialist David Brown, Commander Rick Husband, Mission Specialists Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla and Michael Anderson, Pilot William McCool and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon.

Image credit: NASA

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~ by tellinghistory on December 25, 2007.

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