A Time to Pause
The last week in January and the first week of February marks three tragedies that befell NASA since its formation: the Apollo 1 fire on January 27, 1967, the breakup of 51L — space shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986, and the loss of the space shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003. Each event marked a fatal steppingstone for NASA, and for all those who favor the exploration of space. Each event also marked a turning point and a lesson learned for those who design and build the vehicles that get our astronauts to space.
Just as the U.S. and most other countries salute their fallen military heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for what they believe in, and as we all honor those who risk their lives to save others (firefighters, law enforcement, and many others), today we take a moment and pause to remember those who gave their lives for the peaceful pursuit of space exploration.
Today is NASA’s Day of Remembrance for the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia. Take a moment today to pause and think about these people and their families.