June 25, 2017

The scorched Apollo 1 hatch will be on display after 50 years

30 January 2017, 01:02 | Candice Butler

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NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 tragedy yesterday, January 26, at the Astronauts Memorial Foundation hall in the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

The exhibit, which was dedicated today, contains tributes to the crew of Apollo 1 and their achievements, to introduce them to a new generation.

"We can't forget our fallen heroes - and they are heroes", said Lightfoot.

"Grissom, White, Chaffee, President Kennedy - I think these names are appropriately mentioned together", says Michael Collins, the Command Module Pilot for Apollo 11. "Without it, very likely we would've not landed on the moon by the end of the decade". 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 astronauts scheduled to make the first Apollo space flight were killed when a fire swept through the command module. This is the first time any part of the Apollo 1 spacecraft has been displayed publicly. Unable to open the hatch as a result of its design and the pressure within the capsule, the astronauts died within 30 seconds of the blaze erupting due to smoke inhalation and thermal burns. On February 1st, 1986, another seven astronauts died in the Columbia tragedy.

Chaffee was about to have his flight in space and was looking forward to it.

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Various NASA centers will hold observances on and leading up to the Day of Remembrance for the public, employees and the families of those lost in service to America's space program.

The Apollo 1 fire - NASA's first space tragedy - has always been overshadowed by the 1986 Challenger and 2003 Columbia shuttle accidents.

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.

"Yes, Apollo 1 did cause three deaths, but I believe it saved more than three later", he said.

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