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Remembering Columbia: 15 years since Racine astronaut died in explosion

Horlick honored Laurel Clark Thursday
Posted at 10:15 PM, Feb 01, 2018

Thursday marked 15 years since Racine astronaut Laurel Clark died in the space shuttle Columbia disaster. 

Clark was also a doctor, Navy Captain, wife and mother.  According to her Horlick High School history teacher and debate club coach, she was also very talented.  

"She was very outgoing, very excellent student, a very good speaker, a very good writer, she loved science," said Bill Frayer.

Clark graduated from Horlick High School in 1979.  She went on to the University of Wisconsin.

In 2003, Clark was sent to space for a 16-day mission dedicated to science and research.  The 41-year-old, along with six crew members, died 16 minutes before they were set to land as space shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry.  

Bill Fryer remembered the tragedy deeply effecting the Racine community.

"It just had an impact because it had somebody local that you could relate to," Frayer said.

Even though it's been 15 years since the disaster, the memory lingers along with Clark's legacy.

"I could just thinking to myself oh my God that was 15 years ago it seems like yesterday," Frayer said.

Horlick High School plans to name a new science wing after Clark.