I disagree. If you know ANYTHING about space travel you know that every single one of them knew the risks. When you are riding a controlled explosion into space, not matter how "safe" we make it look, it still stares death in the face.
Indeed, they did. There were studies that all the astronauts were aware of, that calculated the odds of catastrophic failure...indeed using catrastrophe theory and failure analysis of "criticality one" malfunctions...that show actually we have been beating the odds. These were heroes to take the gamble, and ride on what is still, at bottom, a continuing "X" prototype that continues to be modified and evolve.
The fixes we are now doing give us some over-due options. It would truly be best to now move on past the 1970's era design and get an all-new manned lift approach, or at least replace the 70's design with an escape module version. But negligence on the part of a fiscally-tight-fisted Congress...with social spenders constantly carping for more welfare, and less space exploration...does not take one iota away from the courage of these brave astronauts.