Yesterday was the anniversary of the Apollo One tragedy. On January 27, 1967, three astronauts: Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee perished on the launchpad in the capsule during a launch rehearsal. A fire broke out and swept through the capsule. At the 10-minute mark a cry of “Fire!” was heard and the capsule was already engulfed. The astronauts didn’t have a chance. The pure oxygen environment plus flammable materials (straps, foam, etc.) and a spark from a frayed wire were a deadly mix. They tried to unbolt the inward swinging hatch, but that normally takes 90 seconds. They didn’t have that amount of time. This event shut down the American space program for a year and a half as it was reviewed and addressed.
Here is a short news clip video from shortly after the accident.
Today is the anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. Many in my generation can remember where they were when they heard this news. Personally, I was walking through my high school’s cafeteria on my way to class. Suddenly, people rushed the school store which had a TV playing the news and covering the event. 73 seconds into flight, the shuttle exploded, killing all seven crewmembers aboard. Maybe what drew the most attention was that it was the first flight where a teacher, Christa McAuliffe, was on board. Many things happened as a result of the accident such as: civilian crewmembers were halted for 22 years, the programs flight rate was re-evaluated, and satellite launches were moved to expendable rockets. Here is one video of the event.
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