NASA has criticized Beyonce for her use of a NASA audio clip regarding the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster in her song XO from her newest album.
The song starts with a six-second audio clip extracted from television footage of the shuttle exploding and falling back to Earth on January 28, 1986. The explosion killed all seven of its crew members. Steve Nesbitt, former public affair official with NASA, said in regards to the event, “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction.”
NASA released a statement, which said, the Challenger tragedy is an integral piece of the history. It went on to say that it was a reminder that exploring space is dangerous and shouldn’t be trivialized. NASA works on a daily basis to honor fallen astronauts as the agency continues its mission to explore space and go to new heights.
Beyonce defended her decision to use the clip in the song that relates to the struggles in relationships, saying the clip was added as a tribute to the Challenger’s crew and their unselfish work. The idea, she said, is that they’re never forgotten.
Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee, said the sample was extremely inappropriate and a little different than using the 911 calls from the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
June Scobee Rodgers, Challenger’s commander Dick Scobee’s widow, said the Challenger families, friends and co-workers were upset about the clip being used in the song. She said the moment is particular hard for them. Scobee-Rodgers said everybody is focused on how the lives lost lived their lives and how the legacy continues today… not how they lost their loved ones.
XO is Beyonce’s first radio single from the new album, which was released on Dec. 16. The public had no idea she was releasing a new album.
Do you agree with NASA on this one or is this a simple misunderstanding?
Check out the song below.