Apollo 1 – First space tragedy in Cape Canaveral

Apollo 1 – First space tragedy in Cape Canaveral

AS-204, was the first crewed mission of the United States Apollo program, the undertaking to land the first men on the Moon.

Grissom, White, and Chaffee in front of the launch pad containing their AS-204 space vehicle / Image: NASA

Planned as the first low Earth orbital test of the Apollo command and service module, to launch on February 21, 1967, the mission never flew; a cabin fire during a launch rehearsal test at Cape Kennedy Air Force Station Launch Complex 34 on January 27 killed all three crew members  (Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Ed White, Roger B. Chaffeeand) and destroyed the command module. The name Apollo 1, chosen by the crew, was made official by NASA in their honor after the fire.

Launch Complex 34

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 34 is a launch site on Cape Canaveral, Florida. LC-34 and its companion LC-37 to the north were used by NASA from 1961 through 1968 to launch Saturn I and IB rockets as part of the Apollo program.

Exterior view of the Apollo 204 spacecraft after the fire / Image: airandspace

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