NASA will hold its annual Day of Remembrance on Thursday, Jan. 28.
The day honors fallen astronauts, including the crews of the nation’s three fatal space accidents, Apollo 1 (Jan. 27, 1967), Space Shuttle Challenger (Jan. 28, 1986), and Space Shuttle Columbia (Feb. 1, 2003).
This year is the 35th anniversary of the Challenger tragedy, which took the lives of five NASA astronauts (Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Ron McNair, Judy Resnick, and Ellison Onizuka), schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, and Hughes Aircraft engineer Greg Jarvis.
During a previous shuttle mission, the Hawaii-born Onizuka became the first Asian American in space.
NASA will hold a Day of Remembrance wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery, as it has for decades, but the public is discouraged from attending because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kennedy Space Center, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will hold a ceremony at the Space Mirror Memorial. KSC Director Bob Cabana, a former astronaut, and retired space shuttle flight director Mike Leinbach will speak. Only invited guests will be allowed to attend in person because of COVID-19, but the event will be streamed on KSC’s Facebook page at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT).
Also remembered during the annual memorial are the crew of the Columbia (Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, Ilan Ramon, Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Blair Salton Clark) and Apollo 1 (Gus Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chafee),