Published: Mon, January 30, 2017
Research | By Elizabeth Houston

NASA Opens Exhibit on 50th Anniversary of Apollo 1 Fire

NASA Opens Exhibit on 50th Anniversary of Apollo 1 Fire

NASA commemorate the three astronauts lost in the Apollo 1 fire 50 years after the tragedy.

While the road to the stars is a hard, often devastating one, it's important to remember the sacrifices of those who put themselves in danger in the name of discovery. The families of Grissom, White and Chaffee got an early look Wednesday evening at the display at the visitor complex, and liked what they saw. A version of the hatch after it was redesigned is also showcased as an example of improvements NASA made throughout the agency and to the Apollo spacecraft that would later carry astronauts to the moon. This is the first time any part of the Apollo 1 spacecraft has been displayed publicly.

A mockup of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

Ed White was the first American one to walk in space.

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The tribute also displays for the first time the three-section hatch from the Apollo 1 capsule that caught fire at Launch Complex 34 on January 27, 1967.

"We hope that people take away [from this exhibit] the message that space flight is hard, and that NASA had to learn from these tragedies in order to make spaceflight safer for future generations", Curie said. "A Rough Road Leads to the Stars" is open to the public at the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida. Three NASA astronauts lost their lives when thick smoke filled the crew module of the Apollo 1 capsule on January 27, 1967.

It was then 17 years later, on February 1, 2003, when the STS-107 mission crew - Rick Husband, William McCool, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Anderson, Laurel Clark, and Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon - were killed aboard the space shuttle Columbia as it reentered Earth's atmosphere after a 16-day mission dedicated to science. "Apollo 1 tragically cost three lives, but I think it saved more than three lives later".

NASA was able to meet the end-of-decade deadline set by President John F. Kennedy, to land a man on the moon and return him home safely.

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