Remembrance Day was celebrated by NASA yesterday. The National Aeronautics Space Agency held a memorial on the 29th of January in the memory of all of those brave women and men that participated in the agency’s missions and lost their lives in the process.
NASA and other governmental agencies took their time Friday the 29th of January to remember all the incredible people that died in the name of scientific progress. Among the greatest disasters that cost NASA the lives of many gifted astronauts the Challenger, Columbia and Apollo 1 were the most painful. And since all three of the happened in between January and February a NASA victims Remembrance Day was established on the 29th of January.
Remembering the Disasters, Apollo 1
On the 27th of January 1967, three NASA astronauts were on the board of the Apollo 1 spacecraft. Virgil Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee were on board the Apollo 1 spacecraft and doing a prelaunch test when an unexpected fire started in the command module killing all three of the astronauts.
Ed White was on the Gemini 4 mission previous to his untimely death in the Apollo 1 spacecraft and he was already in the Book of World Records for being the first American to have ever performed the spacewalk. He was buried at the Cemetery of West Point. Virgil Gus Grissom and Roger Chafee were buried at the National Cemetery in Arlington.
The Apollo mission was ceased for more than a year. The following crew was made out of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the men that walked on the moon.
Twenty years and a day later, the Challenger spacecraft was successfully launched. But the seven crewmembers Sharon Christa McAuliffe, payload specialist and the first teacher to make it to space, Gregory Jarvis, payload specialist, Judith A. Resnik mission specialist and astronaut, Francis R. Scobee (Dick) mission specialist and commander, Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist, Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist and Mike J. Smith, mission pilot, only had 73 seconds to rejoice at the thought that they are headed to outer space because scarcely a minute after launch, the rocket booster from the right side failed and the spacecraft exploded killing everybody on board.
NASA suffered not only the loss of seven great people that day, but also, the confidence and respect of many Americans that believed the agency scheduled the deployment too soon, and the Challenger were not ready. A couple of years later, the Challenger was replaced with Endeavor.
The last big disaster in the history of NASA space missions was the loss of the shuttle Columbia. While the spacecraft actually managed to reach outer space and spend 16 days there, the returning trip would prove fatal to the crew members. After months of investigations, NASA officially declared that a piece of flaming foam from the external tank fell from its place and pierced on of the wings. This lead to the crash that cost the lives of all the astronauts inside the spacecraft.
Remembrance Day was celebrated by NASA yesterday. The agency said it will never forget those who died in the name of progress and the space program would not have come so far without them.
Image source: www.akchallenger.org