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NASA Approves Designs for Columbia Commemorative
For the first time, NASA has officially approved designs for a commemorative medal honoring the crew of the "Columbia." The ill-fated shuttle was launched into space on January 16, 2003 and disintegrated 16 minutes prior to its scheduled landing on February 1.

The stunning 5 oz. pure silver commemorative was created by award-winning medallist Alex Shagin. Seven bright stars symbolize the Mission Commander, Colonel Rick Husband, Pilot William ("Willie") McCool, Payload Commander Michael Anderson, and Specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut. The emotional words spoken by Colonel Husband following the Challenger disaster now ironically apply to him and his crew: "They made the ultimate sacrifice giving their lives to their country and mankind."

The familiar logo of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is featured on the reverse, with a blazing sun in the background. The surrounding inscription is: "United States of America · Columbia · Mission STS 107" and the year 2003. The large 2 ½ inch diameter commemorative is minted in gem proof quality from 5 troy oz. of pure (999 fine) silver. The silver content and an individual serial number are indicated on the edge. Included is a certificate of authenticity.

The Columbia Tribute Commemoratives are available at the official issue price of $89 exclusively from PandaAmerica, 3460 Torrance Blvd., Suite 100, Torrance, CA 90503. Add $5.50 per order for shipping and Insurance. Credit card orders can be placed by calling (800) 472-6327 or e-mailing info@pandaamerica.com. Click here to shop online.

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Prepared by Mel Wacks


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