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NASA Remembrance Day [Jan. 26th, 2012|09:29 am]
NASA has set aside the last Thursday in January as a day of remembrance, since the three major US manned spaceflight disasters all occurred at about this time of year. It's been 45 years since the Apollo 1 fire, 26 since the loss of Challenger, and 9 since the loss of Columbia.

There was a wreath-laying ceremony today at the Space Mirror Memorial at KSC.

NASA spokesman Allard Beutel: "These are the people who died supporting the cause of spaceflight. It's a time to reflect and reinforce that this is dangerous and difficult, but it's worth doing."

President Obama: "It is important to remember that pushing the boundaries of space requires great courage and has come with a steep price three times in our nation’s history [...] The loss of these pioneers is felt every day by their family, friends and colleagues."

[User Picture]From: baccala_30
2012-01-26 07:38 pm (UTC)
I remember Challenger when it blew up I was in the 4th gread I think, it is just a shame they terminated the program.
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[User Picture]From: p0lecat
2012-01-26 07:52 pm (UTC)
In Rancho Cordova, at the Airojet Property, you can still see the Apollo 1, Saturn 5 booster pad that they tested the rocket on before shipping to Cape Canaveral. You can still see it from Sunrise Blvd......

There was a small movement to try to save it but I am not sure whats has happen with that. The pad is still there as of last month.

You can also see it from Google Earth.....
38°34'17.06"N 121°14'15.59"W

Edited at 2012-01-26 07:52 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: rattuskid
2012-01-27 10:23 am (UTC)
Really astonishing how unimaginably dangerous it all is, and while we've lost good people, it hasn't been a lot compared to say, development of airplanes.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2012-01-29 03:50 pm (UTC)
Quite true, really. The precision required to get it to all work, which it usually does, is breathtaking.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2012-01-29 03:58 pm (UTC)
True, though this is specifically a NASA observance. I don't know if the Russian program has a similar observance day.

You picked appropriate ones to highlight. The only others I know off the top of my head would be unmanned launch failures that resulted in ground crew deaths -- not quite the same category, either.
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[User Picture]From: rattuskid
2012-01-30 07:33 am (UTC)
I was going to mention this, but NASA had similar pure-oxygen fires with aircraft and never made the connection until a fatality happened.

Also, while Laika's story is sad, it wasn't an accident. She was left up there to essentially die. We returned our chimps eventually, but I'm sure we pulled the same deal early on.
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