At 2:00 p.m. CST a flash fire erupted inside the Apollo 1 command module during a preflight rehearsal test. Roger Chaffee and Gus Grissom will be honored during this day.
Three astronauts that were trapped inside, died.
"Without Apollo 1 and the lessons learned from it", Collins continued, "in all probability, such a fire would have taken place later in flight and not only a crew, but the spacecraft would have been lost, and NASA - with no machinery to examine - would only be able to guess at the causes and how to prevent still another occurrence".
The Apollo 1 hatch that locked Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee in a burning spacecraft will be put on display at the Kennedy Space Center on the 50 anniversary of the fire, which occurred in 1967. This will take place at the Arlington National Cemetery. The 14 lost shuttle astronauts also were recognized Thursday, along with seven other USA astronauts killed in plane crashes.
Two of the total three that passed away in the Apollo 1 have their graves there. The Apollo 1 tragedy was the first time that NASA lost a crew aboard a spacecraft, albeit on the ground.
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Ed White was the first American one to walk in space.
"I can not believe it's been 50 years since I lost my father, along with his Apollo 1 crewmates, Gus and Ed", remarked Sheryl Chaffee, who was eight years old at the time of the fire and later worked at the Kennedy Space Center for 33 years. January 28th marks the 14th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, which killed its seven-member crew. Bill Phillips, an engineer with Jacobs Engineering who has worked for NASA for about 12 years, barricaded himself inside the building after managing to sneak a revolver past security at the sprawling space center campus, police and NASA officials said.
The three-part hatch that was in place on the Apollo 1 spacecraft is shown in a tribute to the crew of Apollo 1 who perished in a fire at the launch pad on January 27, 1967 during training for the mission. Called the "Day of remembrance", it will feature a ceremony of laying wreaths.
It's been 50 years since the crew of Apollo 1 perished in a fire at the launch pad, but the lives, accomplishments and heroism of the three astronauts are celebrated in a dynamic, new tribute that is part museum, part memorial and part family scrapbook.