This is part of a series that will present the registry numbers and names (and ship pennants) of notable Starfleet Vessels throughout the Star Trek franchise, starting at the beginning.
The NX-02 was the second ship of the NX class. Rumors had it that command was to be given to Captain A.G. Robinson, a good friend of NX-01 Enterprise Captain Jonathan Archer. Unfortunately, Captain Robinson passed during a climbing accident. Nearer to the launch date, command was eventually given to Captain Erica Hernandez, with the Columbia launching on November 30th, 2154.
Behind the scenes, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated only months before, so the NX-02 was given the name Columbia to honor that fated flight and her crew – a fitting tribute noting the historical connection between Star Trek and NASA, with the prototype Space Shuttle being named Enterprise in honor of the Starship Enterprise.