Today marks 30 years since the Shuttle Challenger had a booster engine fail, causing the shuttle to break apart and kill all seven crew members on board. It happened just 73 seconds after launch on the morning of January 28, 1986.
President Ronald Reagan eulogized the crew, quoting from the poem High Flight: “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’”
NASA has a day of events planned for today’s “Day of Remembrance” across the nation for members of NASA who “lost their lives while furthering space exploration and discovery.”
Below is a schedule of events (all times central):
8:00 a.m. – Administrator Charles Bolden begins the day with other agency officials for a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
9:00 a.m. – Wreath-laying ceremony at the Space Mirror Memorial located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
10:00 a.m. – NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will observe the day with a candle-lighting ceremony for center employees, as well as a public event at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Marshall’s official visitor center.
10:00 a.m. – NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will hold an event for employees that includes placing flowers at the Apollo, Challenger and Columbia Trees at the center.
The NASA.gov website has special videos produced for each of the three major disasters: Challenger, Apollo 1 and Columbia. We encourage you to follow the link to watch all three in their entirety.