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NASA’s annual ‘Day of Remembrance’ postponed

NASA officials and family members gathered to pay their respects at the Space Mirror Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during the 2018 Day of Remembrance. Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

NASA officials and family members gathered to pay their respects at the Space Mirror Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during the 2018 Day of Remembrance. Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

Each year around the end of January, NASA takes a day to remember those that have given their lives for space exploration. Because of the ongoing partial U.S. government shutdown, this year’s events have been delayed.

In a statement via Twitter, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the events scheduled for Jan. 31, 2019, would have to be postponed.

“NASA’s annual Day of Remembrance reminds us to reflect on not just the sacrifices that have been made by our fallen family, friends, and co-workers, but also to remind us of our core values of safety, integrity, and teamwork as we carry out our history-making missions,” Bridenstine said. “Unfortunately, most of our NASA family are on furlough and we recognize that participation in many of the Day of Remembrance activities would be a challenge. As a result, we have decided to delay our observance until the NASA family is able to come together to remember our fallen astronauts and those who have given their life in pursuit of exploration.”

According to Bridenstine, a new date for the commemoration has not been selected. However, he said selecting a date will be a priority as soon as the shutdown is over and NASA employees are back to work.

The Day of Remembrance primarily focuses on the astronauts who died during the Apollo 1 fire during a “plugs out test” on Jan. 27, 1967, the STS-51L Challenger launch breakup on Jan. 28, 1986, and the STS-107 Columbia re-entry breakup on Feb. 1, 2003.

Seventeen astronauts were killed in those three tragedies: Roger Chafee, Gus Grissom and Ed White in Apollo 1; Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Francis Scobee and Michael Smith in Challenger; and Micahel Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, Rick Husband, William McCool and Ilan Ramon in Columbia.

Video courtesy of NASA

 

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Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a blog about the International Space Station, called Orbital Velocity. He met with members of the SpaceFlight Insider team during the flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket with the MUOS-4 satellite. Richardson joined our team shortly thereafter. His passion for space ignited when he watched Space Shuttle Discovery launch into space Oct. 29, 1998. Today, this fervor has accelerated toward orbit and shows no signs of slowing down. After dabbling in math and engineering courses in college, he soon realized his true calling was communicating to others about space. Since joining SpaceFlight Insider in 2015, Richardson has worked to increase the quality of our content, eventually becoming our managing editor. @TheSpaceWriter

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