Rick Husband

  • STS -96 ( 1999)
  • STS- 107 (2003)

Rick Douglas Husband ( born July 12, 1957 in Amarillo, Texas, USA; † 1 February 2003 on the south of the United States ) was an American astronaut and the commander of the injured Columbia mission STS - 107.


Husband was born in Texas. He attended Crockett Junior High School in 1975 and made his secondary education at the Amarillo High School. At Texas Tech University in 1980, he made his BS in Mechanical Engineering and at California State University in Fresno in 1990 his master.

In the 1980s, Husband made ​​a career in the U.S. Air Force and brought it up to the Colonel until he was selected in 1994 by NASA for the U.S. space program. There he worked on various theoretical programs, including some designs for future Mars missions.

On May 27, 1999, he flew as pilot of the Discovery mission STS -96 for the first time into space. Here were brought in preparation for the first crew of the International Space Station ( ISS) four tons of supplies and components to the space station.

Command of the Columbia

In December 2000, Husband was selected as the commander for the Columbia flight STS -107. He and his six crew members started on 16 January 2003, with a foam piece broke during the ascent from the external tank and struck the port wing of the orbiter. The damage was indeed noticed, but classified by NASA as not critical. As the shuttle returned to Earth on Feb. 1, penetrated by a damaged heat tile hot gases into the wing and melted it from the inside. The shuttle was out of control and broke into the atmosphere. Rick Husband and the other crew members were killed. He left behind a wife and two children.


In addition to numerous posthumous honors Husband was honored especially from his hometown of Amarillo (Texas ): the local airport was renamed in the year 2003, " Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport". Before the largest sports center of a bronze statue was erected, the Husband shows astronaut gear, the helmet in his right hand while the left arm is directed to the sky. Another spectacular memory of Husband and his unfortunate colleagues is the designation of a landscape on Mars. The Columbia Hills are a flat, about 5 km long and up to 3 km wide ridge within the large crater Gusev. They were discovered in 2004 in the crater successfully came down from the lander Spirit. The highest hill is named after Husband. Furthermore, the asteroid ( 51823 ) Rickhusband in the main belt is named after him.