© 2006

Columbia Final Voyage

The Last Flight of Nasa’s First Space Shuttle


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. A Modest Mission

    1. Pages 1-10
  3. Mission Makers

  4. The Long Road to Launch

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 111-111
    2. Pages 112-126
    3. Pages 127-135
    4. Pages 136-151
    5. Pages 167-180
    6. Pages 181-194

About this book


In ‘Columbia: Final Voyage’ aerospace writer Philip Chien, who has over 20 years’ experience covering the US space program, provides a unique insight into the crew members who lost their lives in the Columbia disaster. Chien interviewed all seven crew members several times and got to know them as individuals. He reviews in detail their training, their scientific work and other activities during their successful 16-day flight, the background of the accident itself and a detailed first-hand account of what happened that fateful day in February 2003. The author provides a comprehensive and personal look at both the Columbia astronauts and the STS-107 mission, together with a behind-the-scenes account of other people involved in the mission and their personal reactions to the accident.

Forward by Jonathan B. Clark, widower of Columbia astronaut Laurel Clark

Introduction by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin


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Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Merritt Island

About the authors

Philip Chien is a full-time space journalist. Over the last twenty years, he has covered over a hundred Shuttle launches. His reports have appeared on CNN, in Popular Science, Time and in the Jerusalem Post, among other venues.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Columbia Final Voyage
  • Book Subtitle The Last Flight of Nasa’s First Space Shuttle
  • Authors Philip Chien
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Praxis Publishing Ltd. 2006
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy Physics and Astronomy (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-387-27148-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4419-2092-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-0-387-27149-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 454
  • Number of Illustrations 235 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Jointly published with Praxis Publishing, UK
  • Topics Popular Science in Astronomy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews:

In terms of explaining the mission itself, Columbia—Final Voyage is unparalleled, and unlikely to be equaled[.]

—Jeff Foust, The Space Review, February 20, 2006


The research, when combined with interviews with family, colleagues and scientists, results in what may be the most detailed account that will ever be written about what happened in space during the mission.

—John Kelly, Florida Today: Space & Science, February 15, 2006

"Philip Chien in his book Columbia Final Voyage brings a comprehensive, personal, view of the most recent shuttle disaster. … Chien’s review provides plenty of interest … . Included are the experiments, with the identities and expectations of the principal investigators. … In total, he’s produced a warm memorial both for the people and the mission. … the book is an excellent source for someone wanting to relieve this mission or to reflect on the nature of the people involved or on people in general." (Mark Mortimer, Universe Today, April, 2006)