Friday, January 28, 2011
Remembering Apollo 1
The Apollo 1 crew on January 17, 1967. Left to right: Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.
Yesterday was the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire that claimed the lives of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.
Largely unknown to the public is a memorial ceremony held each year at Launch Complex 34, where the tragedy occurred. Because access to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is restricted, only those with a badge or other authorization can get to the site.
The memorial begins at 6:00 PM EST, with the lighting of three candles that symbolize the lives of the three astronauts. At 6:31 PM EST, the time of the fire, the candles are extinguished.
Betty Grissom and members of the Grissom family attended, as did a member of the Chaffee family. No member of the White family attended, although I'm told they attended in past years.
Click here to view a copy of the memorial program. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the document.
Today is the 25th anniversary of the STS-51L Challenger accident. February 1 is the eighth anniversary of the STS-107 Columbia tragedy. In a world where there are few heroes left, our fallen astronauts should always be remembered because they sacrificed their future for ours.