He attended dozens of launches. Some people like sports, he explained, while he follows the space program.
Memorial services also were held at Arlington National Cemetery, where three of the Columbia crew are buried; in East Texas, where the shuttle wreckage fell; and in Israel.
"Space exploration and the sacrifice these pioneers made benefits us all," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "Today, we honor their lives and recommit ourselves to living up to their shining example."
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