In Memoriam
The Astronaut/Cosmonaut Memorial Web Site

Aircraft Accidents
Theodore Freeman
Charles Bassett II
Elliot See
Clifton Williams, Jr.
Robert Lawrence
Michael Adams
Yuri Gagarin
John McKay
Stephen Thorne
Stanley David Griggs
Manley Carter, Jr.
Patricia Hilliard Robertson

Apollo 1
Virgil Grissom
Ed White II
Roger Chaffee
White's Medal of Honor
Chaffee's Medal of Honor

Soyuz 1
Vladimir Komarov

Soyuz 11
Georgi Dobrovolsky
Viktor Patsayev
Vladislav Volkov

Challenger STS-51L
Francis Scobee
Michael Smith
Ellison Onizuka
Ronald McNair
Judith Resnik
Gregory Jarvis
S. Christa McAuliffe
President Reagan's Speech
Memorial Service

Columbia STS-107
Rick Husband
William McCool
David Brown
Kalpana Chawla
Michael Anderson
Laurel Clark
Ilan Ramon
President Bush's Speech
Memorial Service

Valentine Bondarenko
Ed Givens
Honorable Mention
About the Author

Welcome to In Memoriam: The Astronaut/Cosmonaut Memorial Web Site. This site honors those who lost their lives while training for or performing a space flight.

On a personal note, I strongly encourage anyone who wants to learn more about the astronauts and cosmonauts who lost their lives in the 1960s to read Fallen Astronauts: Heroes Who Died Reaching for the Moon by Colin Burgess, Kate Doolan and Bert Vis. Among other places, it can be found at and

Please email me with any questions, comments or corrections.


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This emblem was created in honor of the spirit for which seventeen astronauts lived and made the ultimate sacrifice for the human exploration of space. It was designed using key elements from the three missions in the United States space program that resulted in the loss of crew and vehicle.

The border uses the colors of the US Flag to symbolize the country responsible for the missions, even though not all of the astronauts originated in the United States. The text on the lower border identifies the three space craft lost in the accidents. Apollo 1 was chosen to represent the AS-205 capsule since it is more recognizable by the public. The text on the upper border, translated in the title above, represents the indomitable spirit of exploration that drives us on into space in spite of the tragedies we must sometimes endure and overcome.

The background of the emblem represents the void of space, the great unknown that is beckoning the human spirit, challenging us to continue reaching for answers and expanding our universe. Key elements from each mission patch have been incorporated into the central region of the emblem, representing each crew and the mission they were dedicated to accomplish. The seventeen stars scattered across the void represent the members of the three missions. While these are grouped around the mission specific elements corresponding to the number in each crew, there is no specific relationship intended between any star and astronaut. The large Greek "Sigma", borrowed from the Mission Operations Directorate insignia, represents the entire team responsible for human space flight. It is only through the sum of all our efforts that we can endeavor to send humans into space, and safely return them to earth. Stretching across the central portion of the patch is the NASA Vector, representing the agency of the United States government responsible for these missions.

More than anything else, this emblem is intended to remind us all that we can never afford to relax our vigil in conducting human space flight. Every job is critical, whether it is in the manufacture or maintenance of spacecraft, ground support facilities and related resources, planning and training for a specific mission, or real time operations of an ongoing mission. Every decision we make can have an impact on whether the crew joins us in the post mission festivities, or we get an opportunity to decorate the gates of JSC one more time!

This emblem was designed through a joint effort by Bill Foster in the Ground Control Office at the Johnson Space Center and Michael Okuda, Scenic Art Supervisor and Technical Consultant for Star Trek. "Semper Exploro" was suggested by Kenneth Ham, Lt. Commander, United States Navy and NASA Astronaut, which adds significantly to spirit of the Emblem.



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