Asteroid 51823, Rickhusband, was discovered on July 18, 2001 at Palomar by the JPL Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking Program (NEAT) at Palomar Observatory near Pauma Valley, California. It has a period of 5 years, 218 days.

It was named for Richard D. (Rick) Husband (1957-2003), who was the commander of the space shuttle Columbia on its final mission (STS-107), in which it disintegrated during re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after the integrity of one wing was compromised during launch, showering debris for thousands of miles, mainly over east Texas and central Louisiana, and killing Husband and the other six people on board.

Rick Husband

Husband served as the Astronaut Office representative for Advanced Projects at Johnson Space Center, where he worked on space shuttle upgrades and served as the Chief of Safety (ironically, considering that he and his crewmates met their end because a piece of hardened foam hit the fragile tiles of the Columbia's wing during launch, knocking a hole in it so that it and the shuttle were torn apart by the stress of re-entry). According to Wikipedia, when asked how he became a shuttle commander when he had only one other space flight to his credit he said, "I think a lot of it has to do with being in the right place at the right time."

Amy Calando links asteroid Rickhusband to being on a road to nowhere, elitism that hits a wall and is smashed to pieces, high achievers whose career of achievement slams to a halt, unusual or prodigious sensitivities or abilities. One might also be able to link it to being at the right place at the right time (or wrong place at the wrong time), being betrayed or let down by what one has trusted to work correctly or by someone who was trusted to do one's job property, inherent vulnerability, the consequences of not taking reasonable precautions.

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