Navy League Presents Dinner Program on Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster

Space Shuttle Columbia

On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated on reentry before the nation’s eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. The subsequent search and recovery effort would become the largest ground search operation in US history.

The Upper South Carolina Council of the Navy League is pleased to announce that Michael Leinbach and Jonathon Ward, co-authors of the book "Bringing Columbia Home", will be the guest speakers at its February 20, 2019, dinner program at the Poinsett Club in Greenville, SC. The authors will present the story of the tragic loss and subsequent recovery efforts for the space shuttle Columbia and the inspiring message it ultimately holds.

Leinbach was launch director for the ill-fated Columbia mission and was responsible for overall shuttle launch countdown activities at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center until the end of the program in 2011. Immediately following the Columbia accident, he lead the initial debris recovery effort. He was also the driving force behind the Columbia Preservation Team and development of the plan to lend debris to academia for study with the goal of developing better and safer spacecraft in the future. Ward is an author of space flight histories and a Solar System Ambassador for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The public is cordially invited to attend this inspiring dinner program. Tickets are $33 per person and include dinner. For details and reservation information, please go to: or email

The Navy League is a civilian non-profit organization whose mission is to support the sea services: Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and US Flagged Merchant Marine. It does this through informational programs, support of sea service personnel and their families, youth programs, and other local area programs.

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