January 29, 2004

The Day Of Remembrance

I totally missed this: NASA has named January 29th as the Day Of Remembrance for the astronauts killed on Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia. From a CBS News article:

NASA's chief reminded staff members Thursday that "the consequences of us not getting it right are catastrophic," as the agency paused to remember the dead crew members of Columbia, Challenger and Apollo.

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said in a televised address to employees that space exploration is risky but never should result in fatalities because of "complacency, indifference, failure to attend to detail." That should be a solemn pledge for anyone who works in the space program, he noted.

The Day of Remembrance falls three days before the first anniversary of the Columbia disaster. O'Keefe said it will be an annual event, always on the last Thursday of January coming as close as it does to all three of the nation's space program catastrophes.

The Apollo 1 fire during a countdown test on Jan. 27, 1967, left three astronauts dead in their spacecraft on the launch pad. The Challenger explosion during liftoff on Jan. 28, 1986, left seven dead. The Columbia breakup during re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003, killed seven more.
That's pretty spooky - the dates all three accidents falling so close together. No word whether this will be an annual thing, though. Also, we've laid claim to part of Mars -- sort of:
"NASA announced plans to name the landing site of the Mars Opportunity rover in honor of the Space Shuttle Challenger's final crew. The area in the vast flatland called Meridiani Planum, where Opportunity landed this weekend, will be called the Challenger Memorial Station."
(Hat tip: David All on LGF)

Posted by Chris at January 29, 2004 10:27 PM

Category: General Weirdness