Apollo 1 Remembered 45 Years Later

Photo Credit: Julian Leek/Blue Sawtooth Studios

Family, friends and coworkers paid respects to the crew of Apollo 1 who lost their lives in a fire that broke out in the spacecraft. “The Fire” as it came to be known, was the first, major accident in the space agency’s history – and its first major test. 

On Jan. 27, 1967, during a “plugs-out” test at Launch Complex 34, a fire broke out in the Apollo 1 spacecraft – killing all three crew members. Veteran Mercury and Gemini astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White, the first U.S. astronaut to conduct a spacewalk and rookie astronaut Roger Chaffee – perished in a blaze that broke out in the capsule. 

In the end, the Apollo 1 tragedy caused NASA to stop and refocus its efforts and within two-and-a-half years the United States landed two men – on another world. However, the six missions that successfully landed on our world’s nearest celestial neighbor were not the focus of this evening’s activities – the men that lost there lives in the pursuit of this dream – were.

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