Remembering our Lost Space Heroes – NASA KSC Day of Remembrance 2021: Photos

Remembering our Lost Space Heroes – NASA KSC Day of Remembrance 2021: Photos
Flowers honor the memory of NASA’s fallen astronaut heroes at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida annual ceremony held in front of the Space Mirror Memorial. Astronaut Memorial Foundation (AMF) on Jan. 28, 2021. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VISITOR COMPLEX, FL – “Space is hard.” A commonly used expression often heard in our community. But on three separate occasions, that observation became perfectly clear.

Apollo 1, January 27,1967. Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed as they were preparing for the pre-launch ‘plugs out’ test when a fire suddenly and without warning broke out in their Apollo capsule at pad 34.

Just 73 seconds – after launch on the morning of January 28,1986, an O-ring failed on the right Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) causing the space shuttle Challenger to break apart. Sadly, the crew perished.

Columbia was lost a mere 16 minutes before her joyous return to KSC on the morning of February 1, 2003. During her January 16,2003 launch, a piece of External Tank foam ( approx. 1 ½ lbs.) broke off, striking panel #8 on the left wing causing a large opening  which led to Columbia breaking apart on re-entry. All were lost.

A time- honored tradition, every year on the fourth Thursday of January, NASA honors the lives of our fallen astronauts with a “Day of Remembrance Ceremony.”

This years’ tribute was held on January 28th and falls on the 35th anniversary of the Shuttle Challenger accident in 1986.

Janet Petro, Deputy Director, NASA KSC, Thad Altman , Sheryl Chaffee and Mike Leinbach, Shuttle Launch Director, stand in silent tribute at the base of the Space Mirror Memorial. Flowers honor the memory of NASA’s fallen astronaut heroes at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida annual ceremony held in front of the Space Mirror Memorial. Astronaut Memorial Foundation (AMF) on Jan. 28, 2021. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

At Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the ceremony was held in front of the Space Mirror Memorial. Astronaut Memorial Foundation (AMF), CEO, Thad Altman led the proceedings.

Remembrance Wreath placed at the Forever Remembered exhibit at the home of space shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida annual ceremony held in front of the Space Mirror Memorial. Astronaut Memorial Foundation (AMF) on Jan. 28, 2021. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

Many stirring and emotional comments were expressed by Janet Petro, Deputy Director, NASA KSC, Thad Altman , and Mike Leinbach, Shuttle Launch Director, whose comment, “there’s too many names on that wall.” Brought tears to my eyes.

It was a very moving tribute!

Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard marches for Presentation of Colors at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida annual ceremony held in front of the Space Mirror Memorial. Astronaut Memorial Foundation (AMF) on Jan. 28, 2021. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

Also, in attendance and participating in the wreath laying ceremony, was Sheryl Chaffee, daughter of Apollo 1 astronaut, Roger Chaffee.

The attendance this year was limited due to the COVID- 19 global pandemic and all were wearing masks.

As President Ronald Reagan once said, “The future doesn’t belong to the faint hearted, it belongs to the brave.”

Dignity Memorial Plaque at the Space Mirror Memorial honors the lost astronauts. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

Enjoy Day of Remembrance 2021 photos and pad 34 photos taken by Jean Wright for Space UpClose

Abandoned in Place – Remnants of Launch Complex 34 and the Apollo 1 memorial with flame ducts and launch mount – taken on Aug. 29, 2020 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Credit: Jean Wright/Space UpClose
Abandoned in Place – Remnants of Launch Complex 34 and the Apollo 1 memorial with flame ducts and launch mount – taken on Aug. 29, 2020 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Credit: Jean Wright/Space UpClose

 

Abandoned in Place – Remnants of Launch Complex 34 and the Apollo 1 memorial with flame ducts and launch mount with ULA Delta IV Heavy inside Space Launch Complex-37 in the distance – taken on Aug. 29, 2020 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Credit: Jean Wright/Space UpClose
Abandoned in Place – Remnants of Launch Complex 34 and the Apollo 1 memorial with flame ducts and launch mount with ULA Delta IV Heavy inside Space Launch Complex-37 in the distance – taken on Aug. 29, 2020 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Credit: Jean Wright/Space UpClose

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Jean Wright is a writer and photographer for Space UpClose, a Docent at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and a seamstress. Her space themed apparel is available for sale.

Jean Wright worked on NASA’s Space Shuttle program as an Aerospace Composite Technician/ Seamstress that sewed flown space hardware as part of the Thermal Protection System. This group of   18 ladies were called the “Sew Sisters.”

Contact Jean via her Facebook page: Sew Sister Space Creations.

 

 

 

 

Jean Wright

Jean Wright: Currently a Docent at the Atlantis exhibit at the KSC Visitor Complex, photographer, speaker and textile artist. Owner of "Sew Sister Space Creations," Jean has been featured in many newspapers, radio interviews and television interviews. She is available for lectures and appearances.

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