Beyonce angers families of dead astronauts

Beyonce performs onstage at her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2013". Photo / AP
Beyonce performs onstage at her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2013". Photo / AP

Current and former NASA astronauts are furious over a new Beyonce video that samples audio from the failed 1986 Challenger mission which resulted in the death of all on board.

Her new video for XO features audio taken just after the Challenger broke apart.

"Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction," a NASA public affairs official said as wreckage fell toward earth on live TV.

The Challenger exploded 73 seconds after taking off from the Kennedy Space Center January 28, 1986. All seven crew members aboard were killed.

ABC News reported "former and current NASA astronauts, employees and Challenger family members argue that using it in a pop song mocks the crew's sacrifice and opens fresh wounds."

June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Dick Scobee and a founder of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, told ABC News she was not happy.

'We were disappointed to learn that an audio clip from the day we lost our heroic Challenger crew was used in the song XO,' she said.

"The moment included in this song is an emotionally difficult one for the Challenger families, colleagues and friends," she added.

"We have always chosen to focus not on how our loved ones were lost, but rather on how they lived and how their legacy lives on today."

Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee who now runs the NASAWatch.com website, said, "This choice of historic and solemn audio is inappropriate in the extreme."

He is asking that the Texan remove the clip and apologize to families of the Challenger crew.

But on Monday the 32-year-old defended her use of the clip in a statement to ABC News: "The song XO was recorded with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones."

The Halo singer added the reference should 'remind us that unexpected things happen,' so people should "love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you."

She also said, "My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster.'
Her statement ended with: 'The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten."

The song XO - written and produced by Ryean Tedder and Terius Nash, also known as The Dream - is about loving while you can.

The video features the entertainer running through an amusement park with two friends.

They laugh as they ride roller coasters together and meet strangers.

The lyrics include: "Your love is bright as ever/ Even in the shadows/ Baby kiss me/ Before they turn the lights out/ Your heart is glowing/ And I'm crashing into you."

The star also sings: "We don't have forever/ Baby daylight's wasting."

Oddly, Beyonce has worked with NASA in the past: She recorded a wake-up announcement for the orbiting crew of the STS-135 shuttle flight.

- Daily Mail

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