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NASA Honors Its Fallen Heroes, Marks 15th Anniversary of Columbia Accident

NASA Day of Remembrance 2017
Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot speaks to NASA personnel and others during a wreath laying ceremony at the Space Shuttle Challenger and Space Shuttle Columbia Memorials as part of NASA’s Day of Remembrance, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. The wreaths were laid in memory of those men and women who lost their lives in the quest for space exploration. Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky

NASA will pay will tribute to the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, as well as other NASA colleagues who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery, during the agency’s annual Day of Remembrance on Thursday, Jan. 25.

NASA acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, and other agency senior officials, will lead an observance at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia starting at 10:25 a.m. EST. A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, followed by observances for the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews. Media interested in attending the remembrance event must contact Arlington National Cemetery media relations officer Kerry Meeker at or 703-614-0024 no later than Wednesday, Jan. 24.

Various NASA centers also will hold observances on and leading up to the Day of Remembrance for the public, employees and the families of those lost in service to America’s space program, including Johnson Space Center in Houston and Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Alabama.

Kennedy Space Center, Florida

The Astronauts Memorial Foundation will honor the astronauts who gave their lives for space exploration during a ceremony Jan. 25 at the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Speakers at the ceremony will include:

Media interested in attending this event should contact Rebecca Shireman at 321-449-4273 or

Video and still images of various agency observances will be available at:

The agency also is paying tribute to its fallen astronauts with special online content available Wednesday, Jan. 24, at:

Images and multimedia from this year’s events will be added following the events.


Karen Northon
Headquarters, Washington