This time of year is a rough one for NASA - in the space of the next week three anniversaries of deadly space program accidents will be remembered. Starting today, the 27th, with the Apollo 1 fire in 1967. The 28th of January marks 1986's Challenger disaster, and on February 1 the anniversary of the loss of the space shuttle Columbia will pass. In total, NASA has lost seventeen astronauts in spaceflight, a legacy of which they are not proud. All were accidents, caused by problems the agency did not know it had.
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I think it's important that we take the time to pay our respects to those who truly are exploring the final frontier. It's dangerous work, and we all benefit from their sacrifices.