Astronauts, from the left, Gus Grissom, Ed White II and Roger Chaffee stand near Cape Kennedy’s Launch Complex 34 during training for Apollo 1 in January 1967. On Jan. 27, 1967, the three astronauts were preparing for what was to be the first manned Apollo flight. The astronauts were sitting atop the launch pad for a pre-launch test when a fire broke out in their Apollo capsule. The investigation into the fatal accident led to major design and engineering changes, making the Apollo spacecraft safer for the coming journeys to the moon.
On Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 — the 50th anniversary of the fatal fire — a new tribute to the crew of Apollo 1 was dedicated during a ceremony at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The tribute carries the blessings of the families of Gus Grissom, Ed White II and Roger Chaffee, and features displays that tell the full story of the lives and careers of the astronauts who were lost.
“Ultimately, this is a story of hope, because these astronauts were dreaming of the future that is unfolding today,” said former astronaut Bob Cabana, center director at Kennedy. “Generations of people around the world will learn who these brave astronauts were and how their legacies live on through the Apollo successes and beyond.”
NASA will honor members of the NASA family, including the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery during the agency’s annual Day of Remembrance on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
Image Credit: NASA