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2003 World Events

January 16: NASA launches space shuttle Columbia on the STS-107 mission.  On this flight as the crew are astronauts Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel B. Clark, Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool and Ilan Ramon.

January 22: NASA makes contact with the distant space probe Pioneer 10 for the last time. This space probe is one of the most distant man made objects to ever leave the Earth.

January 24: The Department of Homeland Security headed by Tom Ridge begins operation in the United States.

January 26: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Oakland Raiders, 42-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII.

February 1: Space shuttle Columbia disintegrates over Texas during re-entry.  All seven astronauts on board the spacecraft are killed.  The cause of the disaster was later isolated to a failure of the thermal protection system on the port wing of the vehicle.  My family and I watched this tragedy from the front lawn of our home.  To read my personal account and to view the images that I captured, please follow the  STS-107 link.

March 1:
Pakistani authorities capture Kahlid Sheik Mohammed in Karachi.  Mohammed is the suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

March 20: After repeated violations of United Nations resolutions by Iraq, the United States and other coalition nations begin military operations in Iraq.

April 9: The Ba'ath regime led by Saddam Hussein is deposed from power in Iraq.

May 24: Mary and I attend the Sims & Hankow sponsored UACC Autograph Show in Washtington, DC.  For an account of that show and our experience in Washington, DC follow the UACC Show link.

May 25: Mary and I pay our respects at Arlington National Cemetary.  For an account of that, follow the  Arlington link.

May 25:
Gil de Farren wins the Indianapolis 500.

May 31: An Air France Concorde takes its final flight.

June 9: Warner Home Video hosts a 20th annivesary gala premier of the movie "The Right Stuff" at the Egyptian Theater in Hollowood, California.  Mary and I attended the gala as the guests of Astronaut Gordon Cooper.  For my account of that gala floow the Right Stuff link.

June 20: The gala banquet for the 2003 Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction is held at the Kennedy Space Center.  Mary, Lexie, and I attended that banquet as the guests of Astronaut Scott Carpenter.  For my account of our experience follow the Induction link.

July 22: After receiving a tip, members of the United States Army 101st Airborne along with Special Forces attack a compound in Iraq.  Killed in this assault are Saddam Hussien's sons Uday and Qusay.

July 30: The last old style Volkswagen Beetle rolls off of an assembly line in Mexico.

August 27: The planet Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in over 60,000 years.

September 21: The NASA Jupiter orbiter Galileo comes to its demise after being commanded to enter into Jupiter's atmosphere upon the completion of its mission.

October 15: China becomes the third nation to launch a man into space.  On Board the Shenzhou-5 spacecraft is Chinese Taikonaut Yang Liwei.

October 24: My wife, my grandaughter, and my brother have a private dinner with Jim and Marilyn Lovell at Lovells of Lake Forest in Lake Forest, Illinois.  For my account of this dinner, follow the Lovells link.

November 17: Arnold Schwarzenegger is inaugarated as Governor of California.

November 26: The British Air supersonic passenger jet Concorde makes its last flight.

December 14: The capture of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is announced.

December 17: Ansari X-Prize contestant Scaled Composites conducts its first successful supersonic flight with SpaceShipOne piloted by Mike Melvill.

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UPDATED : August 11, 2009
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