Team Edwards joins NASA in a salute to honor the fallen

Brig. Gen. Robert C. Nolan II, commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Chris Neill)

Brig. Gen. Robert C. Nolan II, commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Chris Neill)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Forty-five years ago, on January 27, 1967, Gus Grissom, Ed White and
Roger Chaffee lost their lives while sitting atop the launch pad when a fire
broke out in their Apollo Capsule.

Only 73 seconds after launch on the morning of January 28, 1986, a booster
engine failed and caused the Shuttle Challenger to break apart, taking the
lives of all seven on board.

Just 16 minutes from landing on the morning of February 1, 2003, Mission
Control lost contact with the Shuttle Columbia. A piece of foam, falling
from the external tank during launch, opened a gap in one of the Shuttle's
wings, leading to the breakup of the orbiter upon re-entry and the loss of
the entire crew.

Each January, NASA honors the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia who
lost their lives supporting the mission of exploration.

Today the men and women of Edwards Air Force Base would like to join with
our NASA teammates in a salute to these brave men and women who lost their
lives in service to our great nation. May their memory and unselfish
sacrifice serve as an example to us all.