KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Every January, NASA, in partnership with The Astronauts Memorial Foundation and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, host NASA’s Day of Remembrance
The ceremony honors all astronauts who have sacrificed their lives while furthering the cause of space exploration and discovery.
This year’s event will coincide with the 35th anniversary of the Challenger accident.
On the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, just 73 seconds after launch, a booster engine failed and caused the Shuttle Challenger to break apart, taking the lives of all seven crew members.
Among the guests expected to attend Thursday’s event are Lowell Grissom, brother of astronaut Gus Grissom and Sheryl Chaffee, daughter of astronaut Roger Chaffee.
Grissom and Chaffee, along with Ed White, were part of the three-man Apollo I crew that were killed Jan. 27, 1967, when a fire broke out in their capsule during a pre-launch test.
The investigation into the fatal accident led to major design and engineering changes that would make the Apollo spacecraft safer for the coming missions to the Moon.
Also expected to speak at the ceremony is former Shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach.
Leinbach led the recovery efforts following the space shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.
On Feb. 1, 2003, the seven-member crew of STS-107 was minutes from landing when the orbiter broke apart on re-entry.
Commander Rick Husband, Pilot Willie McCool, Payload Commander Michael Anderson, Mission Specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark and Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon were killed.
The commemoration and the wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Space Mirror Memorial Thursday, Jan, 28 at 11 a.m.
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