Friday, January 03, 2014

NASA slams Beyonce over Challenger audio on new song 'XO'

NASA officials have criticised Beyonce's use of an audio grab from the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster, saying the event "should never be trivialised".

In the grab, which features on new Beyonce song XO, a NASA official describes a "major malfunction".

The space agency issued a statement on Tuesday after the pop star first received criticism from the families of the seven crew members who died when the shuttle broke apart on takeoff.

"The Challenger accident is an important part of our history; a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialised," NASA said in the statement.  "NASA works every day to honour the legacy of our fallen astronauts as we carry out our mission to reach for new heights and explore the universe."

NASA's response comes after Beyonce explained the use of the short snippet but stopped short of an apology.

"My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster," Beyonce's statement said.  "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.


We live in the age of offence:  Everything seems to offend someone these days


Dean said...

After reading the source article curiosity led me to look up XO on YouTube. As far as I could see (the lyrics were shown in print) or hear there is no reference to the Challenger incident. Perhaps it's buried in the background noise. I'll have to listen again.

In any event, here we go again being horribly offended over not much.

Anonymous said...


There is an audio clip of the ground transmission during the Challenger disaster at the beginning of the song. It is not part of the lyrics.

As for the actual controversy, I understand what NASA is saying. The Challenger disaster cut deep in the space community and to have some no talent pop singer use the actual transmission after a horrific accident as a part of a bad song seems to be at the very least, insensitive and poor judgement.

Beyonce certainly has the right to use the clip and act like a fool and the rest of the world has the right to call her on her foolishness.

Anonymous said...

they should have slammed the EPA for causing the disaster in the first place. Sad that our own government agency the EPA caused the disaster. Faulty Foam Mandated by EPA

As recent news reports have pointed out, the wreck of the Columbia was almost certainly due to a chunk of insulating foam prying loose and hitting some heat-protecting tiles, leaving the spacecraft vulnerable to intense heat upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

That is all the mainstream news--and NASA--have been willing to report. What they have not said is that the foam in use at the time was a substitute, replacing a material that had previously worked well but contained Freon, a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned because of the ozone depletion scare.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:35,

The clip is from the CHALLENGER disaster, not the COLUMBIA breakup.

This has nothing to do with the foam insulation on the shuttle.