Beyoncé is currently facing a huge online upset after her new song, ‘XO’, angered former NASA employees and NASA families.
The said song opens with a six-second audio sample originally broadcast from the space shuttle Challenger that exploded after taking off on Jan. 28, 1986 that claimed the lives of all seven crew members on board.
Former NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt can be heard saying “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction” before the love song kicks in.
Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee and founder of Nasawatch.com, described the use of the clip as “inappropriate in the extreme” and wants Beyoncé to remove it from her latest song.
He further said that the NASA audio “forever etched into the psyche of everyone who was watching that day and still echo across the years for the generation that followed.”
The following can also be read in Cowing’s website:
Meanwhile, in ABC News, Dr. June Scobbe Rodgers, the widow of Challenger Commander Dick Scobee, said that “the moment included in this song is an emotionally difficult one for the Challenger families, colleagues and friends.”
“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,” Scobbe Rodgers added.
On Beyoncé’s part, she released a statement explaining why she included the audio clip:
“My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster. The song ‘XO’ was recorded with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen, so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you. The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten,” the pop star said.
The Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch when an O-ring seal failed on one of the shuttle’s boosters. Astronauts Dick Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald E. McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis and Judith Resnik and Christa McAuliffe died in the tragedy that shocked and anguished the nation watching the launch live on television.