NASA will pay tribute today (Feb. 7) to the 17 astronauts who died in the agency’s three spaceflight tragedies.
NASA is holding a series of ceremonies around the country as part of its annual Day of Remembrance, which honors the astronauts who died in the 1967 Apollo 1 fire, the 1986 destruction of the space shuttle Challenger and the 2003 loss of the shuttle Columbia.
All of those accidents occurred between Jan. 27 and Feb. 1 in their respective years, so NASA holds the Day of Remembrance in late January or early February. This year’s activities were originally scheduled to take place on Jan. 31 but were pushed back because of the 35-day government shutdown.
The headline event today will take place at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will lead an observance.
“A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, followed by observances for the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews,” NASA officials wrote in a Day of Remembrance description.
Various NASA field centers will hold ceremonies of their own today, agency officials added. For example, The Astronauts Memorial Foundation and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, on Florida’s Space Coast, are hosting activities that include a wreath-laying ceremony at the Space Mirror Memorial.
Sources: • Space.com
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