NASA Day of Remembrance

Every year at this time, we take a moment to reflect as the NASA Family on the very broad shoulders on which we stand: the shoulders of those women and men of NASA who gave their lives so that we could continue to reach for new heights for the benefit of all humankind.

To honor our fallen heroes and friends, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Deputy Administrator Dava Newman spoke at a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, at the grave sites of the fallen crew.

The crew aboard the International Space Station also payed tribute with a moment of silence. 

President Barack Obama recognized the day with the release of an official statement that honors the legacy of the heroes who lost their lives helping America touch the stars.

To view the President’s full statement, visit HERE

Visit our Day of Remembrance page to learn about the crews & missions we’ve lost: http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/DOR2016/index.html

Thank you for keeping our fallen colleagues in your hearts and for honoring their legacy.

NASA Day of Remembrance

Today, 28th January 2016, marks the 30th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, and is also the NASA Day of Remembrance. Today, we honour the men and women who died for the advancement of human space flight and exploration.

Seven lives were lost during the Challenger incident, where the shuttle broke apart due to a booster engine failure. Left to right in the picture above are:  Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; astronauts Judith A. Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka, mission specialist.

The Apollo 1 crew, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee lost their lives to a fire in their Apollo capsule on 27th January 1967, during a pre-launch test.

On 1st February 2003, contact with the Columbia shuttle was lost. A hole in the wing caused the orbiter to break apart upon re-entry, with seven astronauts on board. Aboard the Shuttle were commander and mechanical engineer Rick D. Husband, pilot William C. McCool, payload commander, mission specialist and physicist Michael P. Anderson, payload specialist and first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, mission specialist and aerospace engineer Kalpana Chawla, and mission specialists and flight surgeons David M. Brown and Laurel Blair Salton Clark.

Let us all take time to remember the men and women who gave their lives to make space flight possible.

All images courtesy of NASA, more information on NASA Day of Remembrance here

The Space Shuttle Columbia

Pause today to remember the Crew of STS-107, who all died on this day 13 years ago, February 1, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia became unstable and disintegrated on re-entry over Texas.  The Crew:

The Flight Commander was Rick D. Husband, a U.S. Air Force colonel and mechanical engineer, who piloted a previous shuttle during the first docking with the International Space Station on STS-96.

The Pilot was William C. McCool, a 1983 graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and U.S. Navy commander.

The Payload Commander was Michael P. Anderson, a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel.  He was also a physicist and mission specialist who was in charge of the science mission.

The Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon was a colonel in the Israeli Air Force and the first Israeli astronaut.

The Mission Specialist was Kalpana Chawla, an Indian-born aerospace engineer who was on her second space mission.  She was the first Indian woman in space.

The Mission Specialist was David M. Brown, a U.S. Navy captain trained as an aviator and flight surgeon. 

The Mission Specialist was Laurel Blair Salton Clark, a U.S. Navy captain and flight surgeon. Clark worked on biological experiments.

The Space Shuttle Columbia was named after the poetic designation for the United States of America.  This poetic name (based on Christopher Columbus, thought then as the sole discoverer of America) was meant to be both inclusive and a little bit nostalgic, in the sense that America could be embodied in a name.  Clearly these seven astronauts and mission specialists embodied the best spirit of America, the inclusion of an Indian and Israeli the strongest symbol yet of what America can accomplish when unified to a common purpose. Special thought to William McCool, graduate of the USNA-I pass almost daily the ‘McCool Marker’, a memorial on the grounds of the USNA golf course to celebrate his achievements both as a Naval Aviator but also his accomplishments as a Midshipman, where he served as Captian of the Cross Country team his senior year.  The marker is placed on the cross country course 16 minutes from the finish line of his fastest run on the Navy course.

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The Zika Virus Could Force Women To Have Unsafe Abortions
The disease, which is linked to severe birth defects, has spread to countries where abortion is illegal.

Because of the Zika Virus, a virus causing microcephaly in newborn children, El Salvador has just given unprecedented advice to women; Do not get pregnant until 2018. For those that are pregnant, abortion in not a legal option there.