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NASA Marks 40 Years Since Apollo Deaths (deaths of Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 06:00 PM
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NASA Marks 40 Years Since Apollo Deaths (deaths of Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20070127/D8MTQ7GO0.htm...

NASA Marks 40 Years Since Apollo Deaths

NASA Marks 40 Years Since Apollo Deaths
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Jan 27, 2:10 PM (ET)

By MIKE SCHNEIDER

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - It was supposed to be a routine launch pad test.

But from the Apollo 1 command module at Pad 34 came a panicked voice saying, "Fire in the cockpit."

Exactly 40 years later, the three Apollo astronauts who were killed in that flash fire were remembered Saturday for paving the way for later astronauts to be able to travel to the moon. The deaths of Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee forced NASA to take pause in its space race with the Soviet Union and make design and safety changes that were critical to the agency's later successes.


Former space commander and moonwalker John Young lays a flower at the dead astronauts memorial at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, at Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Jan. 27, 2007, paying tribute to three fellow astronauts who died in the Apollo 1 fire 40 years ago. The three astronauts, Virgil Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee perished during a ground test less than three weeks before their scheduled launch. Grissom was the second American to fly in space in 1961. He flew aboard the Gemini 3 spacecraft in 1965, along with John Young. (AP Photo/Stefano Coledan)

"I can assure you if we had not had that fire and rebuilt the command module ... we could not have done the Apollo program successfully," said retired astronaut John Young, who flew in Gemini 3 with Grissom in 1965. "So we owe a lot to Gus, and Rog and Ed. They made it possible for the rest of us to do the almost impossible."

FULL story at link
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 06:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. Gus Grissom...
Edited on Sat Jan-27-07 06:12 PM by Hand
"Mr. Grissom, what do you think about when you're waiting for the launch up there in the capsule on top of the rocket?"

"The fact that everything underneath me was contracted out to the lowest bidder."

(rough paraphrase)

:cry: :patriot: :toast:
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keopeli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. Such is the memory for my 40th Birthday.
Although I wasn't born until the next day, the Apollo disaster is the headline for the day I was born in 1967. Ironically, it was exactly 19 years later, January 28, 1986, that the space shuttle Challenger exploded on take-off.

The astronauts on Apollo 1 that day were enclosed in a chamber with 100% oxygen, which was the catalyst for the fire that took the lives of these three men. Later, NASA would alter the environment in the capsule to mimic real earth air, greatly reducing the threat of fire and explosion. It was a very expensive lesson to learn.

Peace.
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TheCentepedeShoes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I was a freshman
in college. Three weeks before, during the Xmas holidays at home, I'd had a dream about a manned rocket blowing up on the launch pad.
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I was overcome with fear a few days before Challenger...
I can remember it vividly, Christa McAuliffe was being interviewed and I just had this freaky feeling... :scared:
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PlanetBev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Happy B'day, keopeli
Hope you do something nice for yourself on this milestone B'day!

As for me, I was 16 and in my high school art class, when I heard the news. Can't believe 40 years has gone by so quickly.

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keopeli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thank you, Bev!
Peace!
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Cassandra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. It was a combination of the 100% oxygen...
and the Velcro that was everywhere. Velcro is highly flammable in 100% oxygen. A spark from some wiring set it off. There was a series, on HBO I think, that showed what happened. The time between they heard the shout of "Fire" and the actual explosion was less than a minute. Because of Grissom's initial flight when the door opened and nearly drowned him in the capsule, they had changed the door to open in, over Grissom's objections. The build up of gas against the door made it impossible to open during the fire, until it exploded.
So sad.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-27-07 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. RIP
nt
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 04:48 AM
Response to Original message
8. I heard an unconfirmed story about Gus Grissom.
I was told that Gus Grissom hung paper grapefruit around the capsule. Someone asked him why and he allegedly said "It's a big lemon."

I have no idea if this is true or not.
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edbermac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
10. A damn shame; Gus would have taken that first 'small step' on the moon.
That's what we should be spending money on; not on this quagmire in Iraq,
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Cabcere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
11. And 21 years since
the Challenger disaster. :cry: I was born that day so obviously I don't "remember" it, but I grew up with that shadow hanging over me, and there's a sense of sadness on my birthday every year because of it. RIP Challenger and Apollo 1 (and Columbia - on February 1st it'll have been four years). :(
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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-28-07 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
12. Pic(s) of the memorial:
Edited on Sun Jan-28-07 11:40 PM by Nevernose


http://www.nbbd.com/godo/ChallengerMemorial/gallery/ind...

These men and women are the martyrs to the real American dream. They died trying to make a better world for all of us.

Challenger's disaster happened when I was in junior high. I was staying home sick that day, and witnessed it "live" on TV. I remember driving my parents crazy from the time I was old enough to work the VCR, insistent on recording the launch of EVERY space shuttle mission.
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