Ten years since loss of space shuttle Columbia

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – He was just 8 when NASA lost the space shuttle Columbia and he lost his astronaut mom.

Now, 10 years later, Iain Clark is a young man on the cusp of college with a master’s rating in scuba diving and three parachute jumps in his new log book.

His mother, Dr. Laurel Clark, loved scuba and skydiving. So did her flight surgeon husband and Iain’s dad, Dr. Jonathan Clark, who since the Feb. 1, 2003 accident, has been a crusader for keeping space crews safe.

Altogether, 12 children lost a parent aboard Columbia. The youngest is now 15, the oldest 32. One became a fighter pilot in Israel, just like his father, and also died tragically in a crash. The oldest son of the pilot of Columbia is now a Marine captain with three young children of his own. The commander’s daughter is a seminary student.

Clark’s wife and six other astronauts – Commander Rick Husband, co-pilot William McCool, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, Dr. David Brown and Israeli Ilan Ramon – were killed in the final minutes of their 16-day scientific research mission aboard Columbia.