In Memory of Fallen Space Heroes
Apollo 1 - January 27, 1967
Edward White II - Virgil "Gus" Grissom - Roger Chaffee
Died in a spacecraft fire during a ground test for the first Apollo mission
Soyuz 1 - April 23 to April 24, 1967
Vladimir Komarov (right)
Died when his returning Soyuz spacecraft tangled in its parachutes and crashed to Earth
[Yuri Gagarin (left), the first man in space, was later killed in a jet plane crash]
Soyuz 11/Salyut 1
Soyuz 11 - June 6 to June 30, 1971
Georgi Dobrovolsky - Viktor Patsayev - Vladislav Volkov
Died when oxygen leaked out of their returning Soyuz spacecraft after a successful 24-day mission aboard Salyut 1
Space Shuttle "Challenger" STS-51L
Challenger STS-51L - January 28, 1986
(front) Michael Smith - Francis Scobee - Ronald McNair
(rear) Ellison Onizuka - Christa McAuliffe - Gregory Jarvis - Judith Resnik
Died when Challenger exploded about a minute after launch
Space Shuttle "Columbia" STS-107
Columbia STS-107 - January 16 to February 1, 2003
(front) Rick Husband - Kalpana Chawla - William McCool
(rear) David Brown - Laurel Clark - Michael Anderson - Ilan Roman
Died when Columbia broke apart during re-entry after a successful 16-day mission
by John Gillespie McGee, Jr.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.
Sunward I've climbed,
And joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds,
And done a hundred things you have not dreamed of --
Wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through the footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delerious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
[John Gillespie McGee, Jr. was a Royal Air Force pilot during World War II and was killed in action.]