Thursday, January 26, 2012

NASA Remembers Fallen Astronauts

Click the arrow to watch NASA Administrator Charles Bolden's statement.

The next week marks three solemn anniversaries in the history of space exploration — the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire on January 27, 1967; the destruction of Challenger on January 28, 1986; and the loss of Columbia on February 1, 2003.

NASA released the above video by Administrator Charles Bolden. At Kennedy Space Center, a wreath was laid before the Astronaut Memorial mirror by center director Robert Cabana.

President Barack Obama issued a statement:

On this solemn day, we join the NASA family and all Americans in honoring the brave men and women who gave their lives in the pursuit of space exploration.

It is important to remember that pushing the boundaries of space requires great courage and has come with a steep price three times in our Nation’s history – for the crews of Apollo 1 and the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. The loss of these pioneers is felt every day by their family, friends, and colleagues, but we take comfort in the knowledge that their spirit will continue to inspire us to new heights.

Today, our Nation is pursuing an ambitious path that honors these heroes, builds on their sacrifices, and promises to expand the limits of innovation as we venture farther into space than we have ever gone before. The men and women who lost their lives in the name of space exploration helped get us to this day, and it is our duty to honor them the way they would have wanted to be honored – by focusing our sights on the next horizon.

NASA's web site has an interactive feature looking back at the three incidents.

I'll also share this video I posted on YouTube last November as a tribute to U.S. human spaceflight.

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