(Washington, DC) – Today, January 29, 2009 is a Day of Remembrance for the men and women of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to mark the sacrifice of the 17 astronauts who were lost in the Apollo 1, Space Shuttle Challenger, and Space Shuttle Columbia tragedies, and the seven others who lost their lives in support of the space program. The Committee on Science and Technology shares the NASA family’s sadness on this solemn day and extends its sympathies to the families of those fallen in the course of their pursuit of human space exploration.

“Today’s Day of Remembrance is a sober reminder that human space exploration involves great risk,” said Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). “The brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to advance the goals of our nation’s space program should not be forgotten. Their lives are a testament to the American spirit of innovation, excellence, and exploration.”

Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairwoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) added, “Today, we remember the lives and dedication of those brave individuals who lost their lives in pursuit of a noble endeavor–the exploration of space. In addition to being pioneers committed to space exploration, they inspired generations of Americans to believe that there are no limits to what we can achieve as a nation. As we honor their sacrifice, it is important that we reaffirm our commitment to the goals for which they lived and died.”