Beyoncé's latest album is a hit, and while most people enjoy it, some members of the NASA community don't. The reason? Her new song "XO" had an audio clip from the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster.
Listeners can hear the voice of NASA mission commentator Steven Nesbitt describing the tragedy that claimed seven astranauts' lives as XO begins playing.
"Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction," Nesbitt said from Mission Control in Houston as the remains of the shuttle fell toward the ocean.
In the song however, Nesbitt's words are met with Beyoncé singing about love and being kissed by her lover.
"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," the singer told ABC News on Monday, offering an explanation behind the song and its use of the audio. "So love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you."
That connection however, between the loss of a loved one and the lyrics, "Baby kiss me, before they turn the lights out, your heart is glowing, and I'm crashing into you," was seemingly lost, even among music enthusiasts.
The clip upset those close to the Challenger crew, including families of the fallen astronauts.
"We were disappointed to learn that an audio clip from the day we lost our heroic Challenger crew was used in the song 'XO,'" June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of STS-51L commander Richard "Dick" Scobee and founding chair of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, wrote in a statement released Monday. "The moment included in this song is an emotionally difficult one for the Challenger families, colleagues and friends."
Beyoncé told ABC News that her "heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster."
"The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten," the singer added.
NASA also responded to the song, stating that the loss of Challenger "should never be trivialized."
"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 spokesperson Bob Jacobs said.
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