COMPLETE COVERAGE: 15th anniversary of Shuttle Columbia explosion

COMPLETE COVERAGE: 15th anniversary of Shuttle Columbia explosion

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Fifteen years have passed since the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart in the skies over East Texas.

In 2018, we honor the memory of the seven fallen astronauts and the two volunteers who died in the search operation, as well as recognize the service of the thousands of East Texas volunteers who aided in the months-long recovery effort.

Thursday morning a memorial ceremony was held in honor of the victims. Watch below:

Multiple other events were scheduled throughout the day, including a book signing for Mike Leinbach and Jonathan Ward, the authors of 'Brining Columbia Home.'

The release of the book about the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia investigation and recovery effort coincided with the 15th anniversary of the tragedy.

The book is billed on its website as "the definitive inside story of the Columbia disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds," and looks at what led to the Shuttle breaking apart during re-entry over East Texas and the personal toll the accident had on NASA employees.

A robotics competition was scheduled throughout the afternoon at the NASA Museum in Hemphill.

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