(Washington, DC)  This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary (January 28, 1986) of the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger and its seven brave crew members.

U.S. House Science Committee Ranking Member Bart Gordon (D-TN) and Space Subcommittee Ranking Member Mark Udall (D-CO) offered the following remembrance.  The House Science Committee maintains jurisdiction over the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

“I think all of us remember where we were at that heartbreaking moment 20 years ago.  The loss of the Shuttle Challenger is forever ingrained in our memory,” said Ranking Member Bart Gordon (D-TN). “The seven brave men and women aboard made the ultimate sacrifice to advance the goals of our nation’s space program and to this day, their lives are a testament to the American spirit of excellence and exploration.  The Challenger astronauts – and those of Columbia and Apollo 1 – are heroes.  As we prepare to embark on new journeys of human space exploration, the memory of these trailblazers will continue to light our way forward.”

Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Mark Udall (D-CO) added, “Today, it is important that we remember the lives and the dedication of the Challenger crew.  They were pioneers committed to space exploration.  They pushed the envelope of human knowledge and inspired a nation to dream about the potentials of space travel.  While it is vital that we heed the lessons learned from this tragic event, we best honor them by continuing to reach out into the new frontiers of space exploration.”