NASA remembers its fallen every January 28, the anniversary of the tragedy of the Challenger ferry, which exploded 34 years ago after taking off, killing its seven crew members.
On January 28, 1986, six NASA astronauts, and Christa McAuliffe – the first master to travel to space – died in the Challenger disaster, when the ferry exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. The cause was a failure in one of the impulse engines, NASA said.
Sentenced since this accident, the space shuttle program formally ended in 2011, after three decades leading astronauts to and from the low Earth orbit. His withdrawal left the United States without a vehicle for manned space travel, work that has focused on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, awaiting new spacecraft manufactured by Space X and Boeing.
The other major accident of the ‘shuttle’ was on February 1, 2003. Seven people died aboard the Columbia ferry when it broke into pieces, when it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, because it had lost thermal tiles from its bottom on takeoff, and the ship did not resist the heat of friction with the atmosphere.
The US space agency also commemorates the death of three men in Apollo 1, by a fire on the launch pad. Also the loss in 1967 of an injured pilot with an X15 hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft.