While visiting Hemphill, Texas I recommend visiting the Patricia Huffman Smith NASA “Remembering Columbia” Museum. It’s a great history lesson for the kids and a great way to remember all the lives lost in the Columbia crash. The town really impressed me with how they handled the accident. They rallied together and fed every single volunteer of the recovery effort.
The PHS Museum tour takes you on a journey through Columbia’s first historical flight of STS-1 through its last mission of STS-107. It also provides a glimpse of the recovery of Columbia and the Crew of STS-107, along with the two who lost their lives in the recovery efforts. This museum has many items and artifacts from NASA and its contractors, the families of the crew of STS-107, as well as from other individuals.
When you go to the museum they first have a video that you can watch that documents the recovery effort and amazing facts about Columbia. The families of each of the astronauts donated memorabilia to be put on display in the museum. NASA also donated some of the artifacts that belonged to the astronauts in the flight like journals and flight jackets.
The museum takes you on a tour through Columbia’s first historical flight of STS-1 through its last mission of STS-107. The museum has a display for the two people who lost their lives in the recovery effort. It was nice getting to learn about all of the positive missions that Columbia had instead of the museum just focusing on the horrible accident that happened.
The hours of operation are Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM and Sunday and Monday by appointment only (excluding holidays). The staff at the museum welcomed us with open arms. Every single one of them had a smile on their face the whole time and willingly answered any question we had.
$5 for adults
$3 for students