NASA recently remembered the tragedies of the Challenger, Apollo 1 and Columbia — the most recent of which occurred on Feb. 1, 2003.
The seven-man crew was just minutes away from landing from its mission when mission control lost contact with the shuttle, according to NASA.
"Their mission was almost complete, and we lost them so close to home,” President George W. Bush said after the tragedy. “The men and women of the Columbia had journeyed more than six million miles and were minutes away from arrival and reunion. The loss was sudden and terrible and for their families the grief is heavy.
“This cause of exploration and discovery is not an option we choose it is a desire written in the human heart. We are that part of creation which seeks to understand all creation. We find the best among us, send them forth into unmapped darkness and pray they will return. They go in peace for all mankind and all mankind is in their debt."