NASA, President Trump Reflect on Heroes Lost on NASA’s Day of Remembrance

By  //  January 30, 2020

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remembering NASA's heroes

ABOVE VIDEO: On Jan. 27, 1967, the three Apollo 1 astronauts — Gus Grissom, Ed White II and Roger Chaffee — were preparing for what was to be the first manned Apollo flight. The astronauts were sitting atop the launch pad for a pre-launch test when a fire broke out in their Apollo capsule. The investigation into the fatal accident led to major design and engineering changes, making the Apollo spacecraft safer for the coming journeys to the moon.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – NASA’s Day of Remembrance inspires thoughtful reflection and gratitude on behalf of the entire NASA Family, the nation and the world.

President Trump released a statement to reflect on the special day.

“Each year, America pauses to remember its fallen astronaut heroes and the great accomplishments for which they strived. Melania and I mourn their passing and take to heart the lessons of their lives and the greater human potential to which they continue to inspire.

As our Nation continues to lead the world in forging a pathway to space, we honor the legacy of these brave men and women. We vow to continue building the bold future they envisioned for all of humanity on this Earth and beyond.

Though our friends, colleagues, and family members have left this Earth, they will always be with us as we journey among the stars.

The loss of the courageous crews from Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia was not in vain. As Americans, our unwavering commitment to continue their heroic journey is unparalleled in the history of human exploration. We will continue to move forward and reach for new heights. We will persevere. And by doing so, we will lead the world into a new era of discovery.”

Remembering Apollo 1 —

Apollo 1 Crew (L-R): Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White, Roger B. Chaffee (NASA Image)

On Jan. 27, 1967, veteran astronaut Gus Grissom, first American spacewalker Ed White, and rookie Roger Chaffee were sitting atop the launch pad for a pre-launch test when a fire broke out in their Apollo capsule.

The investigation into the fatal accident led to major design and engineering changes, making the Apollo spacecraft safer for the coming journeys to the moon.

— Remembering Challenger —

STS-51L Crew (l-r): Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizuka, Pilot Michael J. Smith, Payload Specialist Christa McAuliffe, Commander Francis R. Scobee, Payload Specialist Gregory B. Jarvis, Mission Specialist Judith A. Resnik, Mission Specialist Ronald E. McNair. (NASA Image)

Just 73 seconds after launch on the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, a booster engine failed and caused the Shuttle Challenger to break apart, taking the lives of all seven crewmembers.

President Ronald Reagan eulogized the crew, quoting from the poem “High Flight”: “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.'”

ABOVE VIDEO: Day of Remembrance — Challenger

— Remembering Columbia —

STS-107 Crew (l-r): Mission Specialist 1 David M. Brown, Commander Rick D. Husband, Mission Specialist 4 Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Mission Specialist 2 Kalpana Chawla, Payload Commander Michael P. Anderson, Pilot William C. McCool, Payload Specialist 1 Ilan Ramon, (NASA Image)

The seven-member crew of the STS-107 mission was just 16 minutes from landing on the morning of Feb. 1, 2003, when Mission Control lost contact with the shuttle Columbia.

A piece of foam, falling from the external tank during launch, had opened a hole in one of the shuttle’s wings, leading to the breakup of the orbiter upon re-entry.

Addressing the nation, President Bush said, “mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on.”

ABOVE VIDEO: Day of Remembrance — STS 107

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