Beyoncé has been criticized for sampling an audio clip related to the space shuttle Challenger disaster in the love song "XO" from her fifth studio album, "Beyoncé," which was released earlier this month. 

The song “XO,” which was written and produced by Ryan Tedder and Terius Nash, also known as The Dream, includes an audio segment referencing NASA’s then public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt on Jan 28, 1986.

“Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction,” Nesbitt said at the time, when the Challenger shuttle exploded 73 seconds into its flight, over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members.

According to reports, NASA officials and family members of NASA astronauts expressed their displeasure over the inclusion of the clip in the pop diva's new song, labeling her as “insensitive” and stated that they were “disappointed.”

Beyoncé, in an exclusive statement to ABC News, said: “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.”

She added: “The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.”

According to reports, Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee who currently runs the NASA Watch website, said: “This choice of historic and solemn audio is inappropriate in the extreme. The choice is little different than taking Walter Cronkite’s words to viewers announcing the death of President Kennedy or 911 calls from the World Trade Center attack and using them for shock value in a pop tune.” 

He also added that he wanted Beyoncé to immediately remove the audio clip and apologize to family members of the Challenger crew and those whose sentiments have been hurt.

“For the words to be used in the video is simply insensitive, at the very least,” retired NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson said, according to reports.