NASHVILLE, Tenn. - NASA officials say the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster "should never be trivialized" in response to a new song from Beyonce that features an audio sample recorded just after the craft exploded on takeoff, killing all seven crewmembers.
The space agency issued the statement late Tuesday after the pop star began to receive criticism from Challenger families and others for using the short sample that includes the words "major malfunction" as an allusion to a failed relationship. "The Challenger accident is an important part of our history; a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized," said the statement from Lauren B. Worley, NASA's press secretary. "NASA works every day to honor the legacy of our fallen astronauts as we carry out our mission to reach for new heights and explore the universe." NASA's response came after the pop superstar explained the use of the short snippet in a statement Tuesday to ABC News.