Beyonce Questioned By NASA Over Challenger Shuttle Disaster Song Sample

2 January 2014, 09:38

The singer's song 'XO' features a clip of the famous 1986 accident.

Beyonce has been criticised by NASA for a sample she uses at the start of her song 'XO'.

The track features a short clip of the Challenger shuttle disaster – an accident that took the lives of seven crew members back in January 1986.

On Tuesday evening, NASA issued a statement about the track and said that trivialising the incident is unnecessary.

"The Challenger accident is an important part of our history; a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized," they declated. "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."

Beyonce had previously stated how the clip was included "in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten".

Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee, described the sample as "inappropriate in the extreme" and little different from using 911 calls from the 9/11 terrorist attack.

June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of the Challenger's commander, Dick Scobee, who died aboard the shuttle, also added: "We were disappointed to learn that an audio clip from the day we lost our heroic Challenger crew was used in the song 'XO'.

"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."

'XO' features on Beyonce's latest self-titled album – which she surprised the world with during a surprise release.

The album was accompanied by 17 videos and has become the fastest selling of all time on iTunes.