Space Shuttle Commander: Rick Husband

Doug Hornok   -  
Last week Connie and I joined Dustin and Maria’s family in Orlando, Florida, for 5 busy days at the various amusement parks. We had a wonderful time and created memories that are essential and will last a lifetime! The 4 boys were real troopers, and we rode some of the most amazing rides imaginable.
One of the places we visited was the Kennedy Space Center. Among the many exhibits was one of the NASA Space Shuttle programs that were operational for 30 years from 1981 to 2011. Suspended from the ceiling in the exhibit was the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which ventured into space 33 times and flew the final mission of the program on July 11, 2021, thus ending the more than 135 Space Shuttle missions. We were also able to meet one of the Astronauts of the program, Steve Smith, who is now retired, who flew on the shuttle four times.
Among the more memorable displays was a tribute to the crew members of the Space Shuttle’s Challenger and Columbia. Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds into its launch, killing all seven astronauts on board on January 28, 1986. Columbia’s crew of 7 was lost when the Space Shuttle broke up over Texas and Louisiana on February 1, 2003, as it was reentering the earth’s atmosphere.  Both disasters were preventable, had those in charge listened to the Engineers who realized things were not safe for the launch of Challenger and the reentry of Columbia.
As a tribute to each of the astronauts lost, there was a display case with memorabilia. It was very moving to see and read the many tributes. The tribute, however, that caught my attention was the one to Rick Husband, the Mission Commander who was in charge of Space Shuttle Columbia. In his display case were his Boy Scout shirt, his Tony Loma cowboy boots, a photo of Rick and the crew huddled together in prayer prior to their launch from the Kennedy Space Center, and his personal Bible opened to the book of Proverbs with Proverbs 3:5-6 underlined: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
It was pretty clear to me that Rick was a committed Christian.  I read up on his life and career and discovered that among the many he worked with, Rick was well known for his faith and walk with Jesus. Among his more memorable quotes was the following: “Tell them about Jesus; he’s real to me.”
Rick was from Amarillo, Texas, and the Airport there was later named in his honor. Here’s what I know for certain: As that Space Shuttle broke up and those courageous men and women on board Columbia lost their lives, Rick was ready to meet God, because he had put his trust in Jesus Christ.
After his death, Rick’s wife wrote a book detailing his walk with God and desire to be an astronaut entitled: High Calling: The Courageous Life and Faith of Space Shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband. In it, she quotes from his journal:  “Okay, Lord, I don’t care what I do or where you send me; I just want to try to do [these] things: I want to be somebody that lives a life that glorifies You; I want to be a good husband; I want to be a good father; and come what may as far as the rest of it goes.”
It was then that Proverbs 3:5-6 became Rick’s life motto.
Photo by NASA on Unsplash