Angelina Airport To Get Space Shuttle Columbia Memorial
A small memorial to those who died in and after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster will go up soon at the Angelina County Airport.
The shuttle Columbia broke apart during reentry in March of 2003 and rained debris all over east Texas. For months, the Angelina County Airport at Burke was a focal point in NASA’s effort to recover the astronauts’ remains and as much debris as could be found.
A private group, the Experimental Aircraft Association, will pay for erecting two black stone benches outside the terminal. One will honor the fallen astronauts, and the other will honor two men who were killed in a helicopter crash while searching for remains and debris.
Angelina County was practically the epicenter of the shuttle’s debris field. The airport was so important to the search and recovery effort, the FAA authorized a tower to facilitate better control of the heavy incoming and outgoing air traffic.