NASA to Remember Fallen Heroes 50 Years After Apollo 1 Accident

By Karen Northon, NASA HQ

NASA will honor members of the NASA family, including the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery during the agency’s annual Day of Remembrance on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, and in the days leading up to the Day of Remembrance.

Various NASA centers will hold observances for the public, employees, and the families of those lost in service to America’s space program.

  • NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 tragedy at 10am on Thursday, January 26, 2017, at the Astronauts Memorial Foundation hall in the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. This ceremony is open to the public and will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
  • On Friday, January 27, 2017, Kennedy will host a public ceremony at 11am for the official opening of an Apollo 1 tribute at the Apollo/Saturn V Center of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. This event also will air live on NASA TV and the agency’s website.
  • Employees at the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans will unveil a banner honoring Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews.
  • NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston held a commemoration for employees at the Astronaut Memorial Grove to honor Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews, followed by astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s memorial tree planting ceremony on Tuesday.
  • On the Day of Remembrance, NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, and other agency senior officials, will hold an observance and wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia starting at 11am (EST).
  • The agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will observe the NASA Day of Remembrance with a candle-lighting ceremony for employees, as well as a public event. (More Marshall event details below.)

For NASA Television downlink information, schedule, and streaming video, visit www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

NASA also will pay tribute to its fallen astronauts with special online content at www.nasa.gov/dor2017.

Huntsville, Alabama Ceremony and Public Event

By Kimberly Newton (NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center) and Pat Ammons (US Space & Rocket Center)

Workers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will join NASA team members across the nation January 31, 2017, to honor the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia.

NASA’s Day of Remembrance honors members of the NASA family who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 launch rehearsal fire, which took the lives of astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White II and Roger Chaffee on January 27, 1967.

Marshall team members will participate in a candle-lighting ceremony beginning at 9am (CST) January 31. Marshall Deputy Director Jody Singer; Rick Burt, director of Marshall’s Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate; and former NASA astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson will preside over the Marshall ceremony.

Singer and Gibson then will lead a public event at 10am (CST) at the US Space & Rocket Center, Marshall’s official visitor center, 1 Tranquility Base, Huntsville AL.

About Kay Whatley 2055 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.