On January 27, 1967, a fire swept through the command module during a preflight test of Apollo 204 , killing astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee. In the spring of 1967, NASA announced that the mission originally scheduled for Grissom, White and Chaffee would be known as Apollo 1.


NASA.gov Mission Pages. Apollo 1

Wikipedia. Apollo 1

This happened a few years before I was born, so I have no personal memories to share. However, as the Apollo missions are dear to my heart as a reader and writer of Science Fiction, and in particular stories about the moon, I wanted this to be the first post in the EMOH project.

Fifty-one years ago today, we remember Gus, Ed, Roger and the contributions they made to the space program and America’s first baby steps to leave the planet and explore our solar system and beyond.

Ad astra per aspera.



What memories do you have of this event? How did you and the people in your life feel upon learning about it?


One thought on “Apollo One

  1. This one is close in a way. Grissom and Chaffee were both Purdue alum. There are buildings on campus named for both of them (and the new Neil Armstrong engineering building.) Purdue Alum are *very* proud of the astronaut heritage of the school (and of the link to Amelia Earhart.)

    But, because of my age at the time (2nd grade or so) it just didn’t leave a mark. I can remember watching launches in our classroom at school (pretty sure we watched at least one Gemini launch,) and I remember watching the Apollo 11 moon walk. But Apollo 1 came and went without leaving the mark that Challenger (and Columbia) left.

    In fact, knowing their names by heart (Grissom, White, and Chaffee) probably has more to do with attending to Purdue than with my memories of the actual event.

    The later two accidents happened after I was into my career as an engineer. I was much more engaged in following the search for the failure modes and mechanisms as an adult (even as an electrical engineer, not an aero engineer.)


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