"The White House and NASA paused on Thursday to remember more than a score of astronauts who were lost in the line of duty.
The space agency's Day of Remembrance — which is always observed on the last Thursday of January — has special meaning this year. Friday marks the 25th anniversary of the shuttle Challenger launch disaster.
Flags flew at half-staff at NASA centers nationwide. In addition, NASA officials laid wreaths at various memorials to honor the dead, including at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
In a statement issued by the White House, President Barack Obama reflected on the loss of Challenger's crew as well as other astronauts who 'made the ultimate sacrifice in support of NASA missions throughout the agency's storied history.'
'Fifty years ago, a young president facing mounting pressure at home propelled a fledgling space agency on a bold, new course that would push the frontiers of exploration to new heights,' Obama said. 'Today, on this Day of Remembrance, when NASA reflects on the mighty sacrifices made to push those frontiers, America’s space agency is working to achieve even greater goals. NASA’s new 21st-century course will foster new industries that create jobs, pioneer technology innovation, and inspire a new generation of explorers through education — all while continuing its fundamental missions of exploring our home planet and the cosmos.'
President and NASA honor fallen astronauts - Technology & science - Space - msnbc.com: