Today, the NASA community commemorates its fallen heroes, who paid the ultimate price for one of humanity’s greatest missions: space exploration.
NASA today will hold its ‘Day of Remembrance’ as part of its annual tradition of honoring the astronauts who lost their lives during past space missions. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will lead the wreath-laying event at Arlington National Cemetery, to be attended by family members of the deceased. Another wreath-laying event will be held at the Kennedy Space Center.
NASA launched more than 200 manned flights. Two of the missions (Columbia and Challenger) resulted in failure during flight, while one of the missions (Apollo 1) failed during its preflight test. All crew members were killed in these tragedies.
All the failures were extensively investigated and were attributed to engineering and safety-related factors. Thorough understanding of the causes of the accidents has led to various improvements and innovations in safety, technology, processes, and management of NASA’s succeeding space missions.
Later this year, NASA will roll-out the Space Shuttle Columbia National Tour at the Kennedy Space Center. The tour will visit all NASA centers in the U.S. and will feature for the first time recovered fragments from Space Shuttle Columbia. The tour will embark on a “new mission to inspire, engage and educate,” according to Jim Bridenstine in his message.