Thursday, January 27, 2011

NASA remembers fallen crews

NASA centers today observed a moment of silence at 11:39 a.m. EST as part of the agency's annual Day of Remembrance, which honors the lost crews of Apollo 1 and shuttles Challenger and Columbia.

Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana this morning laid a wreath at the KSC Visitor Complex's Space Mirror Memorial, and center flags are at half-staff.

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden laid a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

"The last week of January every year brings us the opportunity to reflect on the sobering realities of our space exploration enterprise," Bolden said in a statement. "Each time men and women board a spacecraft, their actions carry great risk along with the opportunity for great discoveries and the chance to push the envelope of our human achievement."

He called upon NASA and contractor employees to "be unafraid to speak up to those in authority, so that safety can always be our guiding principle and the sacrifices of our friends and colleagues will not be in vain."

Apollo 1 crew members Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee died on this day in 1967 when a fire broke out in their capsule during a training exercise on the launch pad.

Friday marks the 25th anniversary of Challenger's explosion 73 seconds after liftoff and the loss of its crew: mission commander Dick Scobee, pilot Michael Smith,
mission specialists Judith Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, and Ronald E. McNair, and payload specialists Gregory Jarvis and Christa McAuliffe.

The Visitor Complex will host a special ceremony at 9 a.m. including Cabana, NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier and Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, widow of the Challenger commander.

Columbia was lost during re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003, killing mission commander Rick Husband, pilot William McCool, payload commander Michael Anderson, mission specialists David Brown and Laurel Clark and payload specialist Ilan Ramon.

Also remembered are astronauts who died in training and commercial aircraft accidents: Theodore Freeman, Charles Bassett, Elliot See, Clifton Williams, Michael Adams, Robert Lawrence and Sonny Carter.

IMAGES: At top: The prime crew of NASA's first manned Apollo spaceflight are pictured during training in Florida in January 1967. Left to right are astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White II, and Roger Chaffee. At middle: The Challenger crew of STS-51-L: Front row from left, Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair. Back row from left, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, Judith Resnik. At bottom: The seven STS-107 crew members posed for the traditional crew portrait in October 2001. Seated in front are astronauts Rick Husband (left), mission commander; Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; and William McCool, pilot. Standing are (from the left) astronauts David Brown, Laurel Clark, and Michael Anderson, all mission specialists; and Ilan Ramon, payload specialist representing the Israeli Space Agency. Credit: NASA


Graham (from England) said...
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Burke O'Kelly said...
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