On January 28, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) honored astronauts “who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery” with a special day of remembrance. The day was the 29th anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle explosion, said the press release from NASA.
NASA officials conducted ceremonies at a couple of different sites around the country during the event. At the ceremonies and online, tribute was paid to the three crewmembers killed in the Apollo 1 fire in 1967, the seven astronauts lost when Challenger exploded in 1986 and the seven crewmembers who died when the shuttle Columbia broke apart while it was re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere in 2003.
In all cases, the fatal accidents led to major design and engineering changes within the space program. After each accident, there was a lengthy pause in space mission operations. NASA is to be commended for its ongoing mission to improve safety.
Spaceflight is dangerous and it is important to learn from past tragedies as space travel moves into its next era. “The ability to learn from mistakes has long been recognized as an effective way to prevent future accidents,” said Attorney at Law David Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm.
NASA is an example of an organization that takes proactive approach to improving safety. In less positive cases, filing a lawsuit appears to be the only way to hold some companies accountable for injuries suffered by their employees.
“Companies required to compensate victims or their loved ones for losses linked to workplace injuries are often less likely to let those accidents be repeated,” said Perecman.