Jan. 31, 2014, NASA commemorated the men and women lost in the pursuit of space exploration and discovery during its annual Day of Remembrance.
At wreath-laying ceremonies at the Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, NASA administrator Charlie Bolden paid tribute to the legacy of the STS-107 Columbia crew; the STS-51L Challenger crew; the Apollo 1 crew; and to Mike Adams, the first in-flight fatality of the space program as he piloted the X-15 No. 3 on a research flight.
Those honored include:
Apollo 1 (Jan. 27, 1967): Astronauts Roger B. Chaffee, Virgil ìGusî Grissom and Edward H. White Jr.
Challenger (Jan. 28, 1986): Astronauts Francis R. ìDickî Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ronald E. McNair, Ellison S. Onizuka, Gregory B. Jarvis and S. Christa McAuliffe
Columbia (Feb. 1, 2003): Astronauts Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel B. Clark and Ilan Ramon
X-15 No. 3 (Nov. 15, 1967): Maj. Michael J. Adams, U.S. Air Force
“These men and women were our friends, family and colleagues, and we will never forget their lives and passion to push us farther and achieve more,” said Bolden in a Day of Remembrance message to employees.†”We see our lost friends in the strivings of so many missions to take humans to new destinations and to unlock the secrets of our universe. And we honor them by making our dreams of a better tomorrow reality and by acting to improve life for all of humanity.”
As part of its Day of Remembrance observance, NASA’s Johnson Space Center held a memorial tree-planting ceremony Jan. 30 in honor of the late space shuttle astronaut and research pilot C. Gordon “Gordo” Fullerton. Fullerton, who died in August 2013 at the age of 76, flew on two space shuttle missions ñ STS-3 on Columbia and STS-51F on Challenger – flew the shuttle Approach and Landing Tests on Enterprise at Edwards Air Force Base in 1977, and served as a research pilot for 22 years at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center.
Among those participating in the ceremonies were retired astronauts Robert Crippen and Fred Haise, JSC director Ellen Ochoa and Fullerton’s widow Marie, each of whom deposited a ceremonial shovelful of mulch around the tree planted in Gordon Fullerton’s honor. Like Fullerton, Haise served as a research pilot at NASA’s Flight Research Center. However, Haise’s tenure at the center preceded his astronaut career, while Fullerton came to the center, by then renamed for Hugh L. Dryden and soon to be renamed for Neil A. Armstrong, following his years as a NASA astronaut.