Damien graduate, NASA engineer dies suddenly

Christopher K. Davis died on March 21 at the age of 56
Christopher K. Davis died on March 21 at the age of 56

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Christopher K. Davis, a 1973 Damien Memorial School graduate who went to become a senior project manager with NASA's space shuttle program and played a major role in the investigation of the 2003 Columbia shuttle disaster, died suddenly at his home in Merrit island, Fla. on March 21. He was 56.

Davis helped investigate the cause of the Columbia tragedy and he won the Space Flight Awareness Award, the shuttle program's highest award, for developing two major projects that allowed the program to resume after a suspension.

The two projects involved the thermal protection system and the External Tank (ET) foam inspection. After the shuttle program ended Davis was in NASA's Materials Science Division dealing with failure analysis.

Davis made several trips to Hawaii as a NASA engineer to encourage students to consider careers in the space program, even after the shuttle program ended.

His last trip here was in 2011 when he spoke with students at Damien, St. Andrew's Priory and St. Francis School.

In 2006 he wowed students at Damien by bringing with him a full Apollo space suit, complete with helmet. He also left s piece of shuttle tile with the Damien administration.

Davis worked at Kennedy Space C enter since 1990. He received a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida in Orlando in 1993. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1983 from the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

Davis's fiancee, Sheryl Wilson,  a Lt. Col. In the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, said a memorial will be held in Hawaii at a date to be determined

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