Source: This document taken from the Report of Apollo 204 Review Board
NASA Historical Reference Collection, NASA History Office, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.


The Nation's space program requires that man and machine achieve the highest capability to pursue the exploration of space. Three gallant men lost their lives in the line of duty during the development of that capability.

The Apollo 204 Review Board was charged with the responsibility of reviewing the circumstances surrounding the accident, reporting its findings relating to the cause of the accident, and formulating recommendations so that inherent hazards are reduced to a minimum.

Throughout its proceedings, the Board recognized the need for an impartial and totally objective review in order to arrive at its findings. The Board believes that this was accomplished.

The Board is very concerned that its description of the defects in the Apollo Program that led to the condition existing at the time of the Apollo 204 accident will be interpreted as an indictment of the entire manned space flight program and a castigation of the many people associated with that program. Nothing is further from the Board's intent. The function of the Board has been to search for error in the largest and most complex research and development program ever undertaken. This report, rather than presenting a total picture of that program, is concerned with the deficiencies uncovered.

The Board has been greatly impressed by the integrity, candor and dedication of those people upon whom the Board relied in conducting this investigation. All have felt a personal loss in this accident, and all are determined that a comparable tragedy shall not occur.

This report represents the dedicated effort of many hundreds of individuals in government, industry and educational institutions. In addition, useful advice was received from many private individuals in this country and abroad. The Board acknowledges with appreciation these contributions.


Updated February 3, 2003
Steve Garber, NASA History Web Curator
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