Dangerous time of year?

I read an article on CNN.com today that talked about how NASA is remembering fallen astronauts.

This weekend is a time of sad memorials for NASA. Jan 27, recipe 28, dosage and Feb 1 all mark dates of NASA disasters. I didn’t realize that these disasters all happened in the same calendar week (albeit very different years, obviously.)

January 27th marks the 39th anniversary of the 1967 Apollo 1 spacecraft fire during a countdown test at the launch pad. Three astronauts were killed.

January 28th marks the 20th anniversary of the Challenger explosion during takeoff. Seven astronauts were killed.

And February 1st marks the 3rd anniversary of the Columbia breakup during re-entry. Seven astronauts were killed in this disaster.

So this week marks a series of mournful anniversaries for NASA personnel and its families. On Thursday NASA administrator Michael Griffin made the following comment addressing these tragedies:

“Space flight remains the pinnacle of human challenge, an endeavor just barely possible with today’s technology. It is an enormously difficult enterprise, made more so by the fact that we are human beings and flawed. The losses we commemorate today are a mute and terrible reminder of the sternness of the challenge, and of awful consequences of our flaws.”

My hat goes off to those whose lives have been lost in the pursuit of this goal, and to the families they left behind.

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