Houston Matters

50 Years Later: How the Apollo One Tragedy Changed NASA

Today (Jan. 27, 2017) marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo One fire. Three astronauts died when a flash fire occurred during a launchpad test of the command module, which would’ve been used in the first manned mission of the Apollo program. The accident took the lives of Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward […]

Apollo One Crew - NASA Space WikipediaToday (Jan. 27, 2017) marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo One fire. Three astronauts died when a flash fire occurred during a launchpad test of the command module, which would’ve been used in the first manned mission of the Apollo program.

The accident took the lives of Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee. Rex Walheim, an astronaut and assistant director of flight operations at Johnson Space Center, tells Maggie Martin about his career with the space agency and how the Apollo One tragedy changed NASA.

(Above: (L-R) Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee pose in front of Launch Complex 34, which is housing their Saturn 1 launch vehicle. The astronauts died ten days later in a fire on the launch pad. Photo: NASA)

Share