Washington D.C. – Today, Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Space Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) released the following statements honoring the fallen heroes of Apollo 1, Columbia, and Challenger:

Full Committee Chairman Smith: “Our nation has seen moments of both triumph and tragedy in our space exploration endeavors over the last 50 years. Today, we pay our respects to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of scientific discovery and advancement. One of the best ways we can honor their lives is to ensure America leads the world in space for the next 50 years. The future holds limitless possibilities if we continue to invest in the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers.”

Space Subcommittee Chairman Palazzo: “Today, on the 29th Anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, we remember those who lost their lives during these missions. We would not be where we are today if it weren’t for the many brave individuals who dedicate their lives to pushing the boundaries of space exploration and discovery. From Apollo 1 to Columbia to Challenger, these astronauts put themselves in harm's way to better our future. I join NASA and the American people on this day of remembrance in paying my utmost respects to these outstanding individuals. Their hard work and commitment forever changed the world, and their sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

Today is NASA’s Day of Remembrance, which was set aside following the Columbia disaster to honor the lives of those lost from Apollo 1, Columbia, and Challenger.