Author Topic: NASA's Day of Remembrance  (Read 1957 times)

  • Guest
NASA's Day of Remembrance
« on: 01/29/2007 02:30 pm »
NASA's Day of Remembrance
Today, we honor the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia astronauts, as well as others at NASA who have given their lives in pursuit of the dream of flight. In recognition of NASA's Day of Remembrance, I and some of our astronauts will visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath in memory of those members of the NASA family who have fallen in the line of duty.
From the dawn of the space age, we have known that spaceflight would bring with it unique new challenges, opportunities, rewards and risks. The Apollo fire, which occurred forty years ago on January 27, 1967, was a particular blow, because so few had anticipated that our first tragedy would occur during a ground test. The fire, and the loss of Challenger and Columbia, are stark reminders that we must use our utmost ingenuity to anticipate all of the risks before us, not just those that are obvious. To imagine the ways in which a complex new machine might fail is the most difficult of all engineering challenges, yet it is the one we at NASA have accepted as the price of learning the arts and sciences of flight in all its forms.
This Day of Remembrance also reminds us that despite our losses, the American people have never wavered in their support for space exploration. They know that it brings out the best in us, our creativity, our curiosity, our courage in the face of the unknown. Space exploration reminds us of what it is to be a human being, in ways that have been, and will be again, both supremely gratifying and deeply humbling. But through it all, through both failure and success, we continue our work to know, to experience, to understand, to become a spacefaring civilization.
As Alfred, Lord Tennyson, put it in Ulysses,
"... my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset, and the baths of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down. It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, and see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Though much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in the old days moved Earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; one equal-temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
Today, we honor the sacrifice of those who did not yield.
Michael Griffin
NASA Administrator

Offline Mark Dave

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1101
  • Ruined
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: NASA's Day of Remembrance
« Reply #1 on: 01/29/2007 07:32 pm »
I'm surprised NASA TV hasn't made the whole day of programs on this? A documentary on Apollo 1, STS--51L, or STS-107?

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32509
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11289
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: NASA's Day of Remembrance
« Reply #2 on: 01/29/2007 07:43 pm »
Don't want to dwell on the past

Offline spaceflight101

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: NASA's Day of Remembrance
« Reply #3 on: 01/30/2007 12:03 am »
Jim - 29/1/2007  3:43 PM

Don't want to dwell on the past

Considering that Jim Oberg has written an article titled "Fighting the Forgetting", that's an interesting position.

Now, please don't take what I'm about to say personally, Jim. I respect you and understand what you said.

Granted, there is a lot of work to be done on the STS side of things, as well as everywhere else. But how many blackboards at JSC, if there are still any, have "Tough and Competent" written on them?

There is a difference between dwelling on the past and remembrances. If you dwell on it, you will paralyze yourself with "what ifs", and you will accomplish nothing, both in a physical sense and in continuing the work of those who have been lost.

NASA TV carried a very nice service that was held at the Astronaut Memorial on Saturday. It would have been a good time, perhaps, to replay the 51L and 107 memorials. But the fact was that for that day, the spotlight was on those who were lost in the Apollo I fire, since it was the 40th anniversary of the event.

I didn't watch on Sunday, and I'll be working Thursday, but you can lay good money on me stopping what I'm doing around 9AM for a minute. I work in an old church building, and perhaps I'll go upstairs and say a prayer.

Publicly, and with NASA TV, management may not want to present the image of an agency consumed with the past, paralyzed by fear. And I agree with that.

And perhaps the best way to honor those who have been lost is to be more mindful, a personal choice, and to continue in their footsteps.

Pioneering has never been easy or painless...