HomeNewsNASA Marks Day of Remembrance on 55th Anniversary of Apollo 1 Tragedy

NASA Marks Day of Remembrance on 55th Anniversary of Apollo 1 Tragedy

by Jacklyn Krol
Paul Hennessy, Getty Images

NASA honored the lives lost on the 55th anniversary of the Apollo 1 tragedy.

NASA released a statement and a list of things their various locations are doing to honor the victims.

“This year’s Day of Remembrance is on Jan. 27, the 55th anniversary of the Apollo 1 tragedy,” they tweeted. “#NASARemembers the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger STS-51L, Columbia STS-107, and all members of the NASA family who lost their lives in the pursuit of exploration.”

Apollo 1 was also known as AS-204 and was the first mission from the United States to attempt to get the first man to the moon. It was set to launch on February 21, 1967, however, it never launched. During a launch rehearsal test run, a fire killed three crew members, Command Pilot Gus Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee.

But the official NASA day of remembrance honors the crews of the Challenge and Columbia, as well.

“NASA’s Day of Remembrance is an opportunity to honor members of the NASA family who lost their lives in our shared endeavor to advance exploration and discovery for the good of all humanity,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. “Every day, we have an opportunity to further uplift the legacies of those who gave their lives in pursuit of discovery by taking the next giant leap, meeting every challenge head-on, as they did.

“We also must never forget the lessons learned from each tragedy, and embrace our core value of safety.”

How NASA is Honoring The Victims

There was an observance at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. It included a traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. NASA’s team hosted a panel discussion for employees on the topic of safety and the tragedies it also aired on their website.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, each event was held with limited capacity and closed to the public.

At Kennedy Space Center in Florida, they hosted their own ceremony at the Space Mirror Memorial. Kennedy Center Deputy Director Kelvin Manning, an Astronauts Memorial Foundation President and CEO Thad Altman spoke. You can watch a livestream on their official Facebook channel.

Furthermore, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas held its event at the Astronaut Memorial Grove. Johnson Center Director Vanessa Wyche, astronaut Randy Bresnik and former Johnson Center Director George Abbey spoke.

The Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama decided to do a different memorial. Their event was a prerecorded observance. People can watch the video on Marshall’s YouTube channel.

Finally, the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio held its own in-staff remembrance.