2024 Astronaut Memorial Ceremony to Honor Those Who Perished in Space Program Set Jan. 28 at Sand Point Park in Titusville

By  //  January 14, 2024

NASA & SPACE NEWS

The annual Astronaut Memorial Ceremony for the 17 crew members of Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia who perished in America’s space program will be conducted Sunday, January 28 at 1 p.m. EST at Sand Point Park in Titusville. The event will include a keynote address by Michael James McCulley pictured above. (NASA image)

BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – The annual Astronaut Memorial Ceremony for the 17 crew members of Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia who perished in America’s space program will be conducted Sunday, January 28 at 1 p.m. EST at Sand Point Park in Titusville.

Shuttle astronaut Mike McCulley will be the keynote speaker.

The public is invited to attend this reverent and patriotic ceremony that honors the lives and sacrifices made by these pioneers of NASA’s manned space program.

The annual remembrance is hosted by the City of Titusville Flag & Memorial Committee and the American Space Museum. The Titusville Garden Club provides the flowers for this honorable ceremony.

The event will include a keynote address by Michael James McCulley, patriotic songs, a host of city and county dignitaries, participation from the Knights of Columbus, the Civil Air Patrol, a 21-gun salute, and placement of flowers on the 17 plaques at the park honoring the fallen space travelers.

This special memorial will be broadcast on the American Space Museum’s YouTube channel.

McCulley, a Navy Captain and the first submariner to orbit Earth, was born in San Diego, California but grew up in Livingston, Tennessee.

He is a 1970 graduate of Purdue University, earning his Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in metallurgical engineering.

Selected as a NASA astronaut in 1984, McCulley was the first pilot among seven in the class to fly, spending five days in space in Atlantis on STS-34 in 1989, deploying the Galileo spacecraft to Jupiter.

Finding the wait too long for a second Shuttle flight as a pilot, McCulley retired from NASA in 1990. He ascended through key leadership positions at the umbrella organization for Shuttle contractors, United Space Alliance, including president and chief operating officer, retiring in 2007.

Those astronauts being remembered and the day they gave their ultimate sacrifice for America are:

Apollo 1, Jan. 27, 1967; Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed White II and Roger Chaffee. Challenger, STS-51L, Jan. 28, 1986; Frances “Dick” Scobee, Michael Smith, Judy Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, Ronald McNair and Christa McAuliffe.

Columbia, STS-107, Feb. 1, 2003, Rick D. Husband, William C. “Willie” McCool, David M. Brown, Laurel Clark, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson and Ilan Ramon of Israel.

An informal reception will be afterward from 3-4 p.m. at the American Space Museum in Downtown Titusville.

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