CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA is pausing Thursday to remember the 17 astronauts lost in the line of duty.
The so-called Day of Remembrance — always the last Thursday of January — takes on special meaning this year. Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the shuttle Challenger launch disaster.
Flags will fly at half-staff at NASA centers nationwide Thursday. In addition, NASA officials will lay wreathes at various memorials to honor the dead.
NASA's three space-related fatalities occurred within days of one another but years apart. Three astronauts were killed in the Apollo 1 launch pad fire on Jan. 27, 1967. Seven more died aboard Challenger on Jan. 28, 1986. And the seven-member crew of Columbia perished during re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003.
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