Eric Holcomb

Address: 1900 NE 3rd St STE 106 PMB 361, Bend, OR 97701-3889
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Space Shuttle Columbia Tour

Eric grew up with the Apollo program and began his interest in space exploration and amateur astronomy at that time. Eric expresses his deepest sympathies to all those affected by the terrible tragic loss of the Columbia and crew, especially to the families and friends of the astronauts. See Eric's Columbia Memorial Page on the PNNA web site, which shows how medallic art can help us remember the happier days of Columbia's great successes.

On November 17, 2000, Eric had the opportunity to tour the Space Shuttle Columbia, which had completed major modifications at the Boeing Reusable Space Systems (RSS) facility in Palmdale, California. The invitation to take the tour came as a result of Eric's service as medals chairman of the Boeing Employees' Coin Club (BECC). The BECC's 2001-dated commemorative medal celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first flight of the Columbia, mission STS-1, the first orbital flight of the space shuttle program.

Click on thumbnails to see full-size pictures.

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Upper left: Name Columbia on outside of orbiter.

Upper right: Eric on the flight deck, wearing special "bunny" suit! Installation of new flight deck displays, otherwise known as a "glass cockpit," is one of the major modifications completed before Columbia returned to the Kennedy Space Center. The flight deck windows were covered up to prevent damage during the modification work.

Lower left: Eric inside the cargo bay, at the forward end looking aft (camera looking forward). The plastic sheets were used to keep things clean inside while the cargo bay doors were open for the modification work.

Lower right: Eric posing in front of the forward fuselage, part of which had been removed.

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Boeing Employees' Coin Club 2001-dated Space Shuttle Columbia commemorative medal.