Beyonce is drawing fire for her decision to include a sound bite from the space shuttle Challenger disaster in her new song "XO," reports the Huffington Post.
In the song, which chronicles a troubled relationship, the final seconds contain an audio clip in which NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt can be he heard to say, "Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction." According to the Huffington Post and other sources, the communication is from a broadcast of the Mission Control Center in Houston after the Challenger exploded after takeoff on Jan. 28, 1986. The tragedy killed all seven crew members.
ABC News reported that several NASA officials anonymously complained about Beyonce's decision to use the sound clip in the song. Also, June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Dick Scobee, told ABC News she's "disappointed" and said hearing the song was "emotionally difficult."
Former NASA employee Keith Cowing called on Beyonce to remove the audio segment from the song.
"Having this audio included in such a song serves to mock the severity of the events and loss that these final words represent," he wrote on his website. "... Beyonce owes the families of the crew of Challenger an apology."
Beyonce responded in a statement to ABC: "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."