Apollo 1: NASA Honors Fallen Astronauts

Posted: Jan 27 2017, 6:26pm CST | by , Updated: Jan 27 2017, 6:50pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

Apollo 1: NASA Honors Fallen Astronauts
Astronauts, from the left, Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee stand near Cape Kennedy's Launch Complex 34 during training for Apollo 1 in January 1967. Credits: NASA
  • Kennedy Space Center conducts the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 1 Tragedy on Jan 27, 2017

NASA Day of Remembrance Honors Fallen Astronauts- Kennedy Space Center staff and guests got together to pay a tribute to astronauts who died in space conquest.

The annual Kennedy Day of Remembrance included a ceremony that was held at the Center for Space Education at Kennedy's visitor complex. The event was hosted by AMF, Astronauts Memorial Foundation who paid tribute to those who believed that space don’t forgive anyone, but still they took the risk to explore it.

Today is 50th anniversary of the loss of Apollo 1 crew. The ceremony also paid tribute to several other astronauts, including STS-51L Challenger crew who died in 1986, the STS-107 crew of Columbia who died in 2003, and many other astronauts who died during their duty.

According to NASA’s Acting Administrator, Robert Lightfoot, spaceflight is a difficult and unforgiving task. Though it’s risky, but we continue to explore space that’s why we know what we know today about the space.

Center Director Bob Cabana, a former space shuttle commander also talked in the ceremony and said we get together each year to remember those who sacrificed to explore the world beyond earth. We want to learn from past lessons, so we don’t repeat them in our present missions into space.

Cabana also challenged NASA astronauts and scientists to learn from their past failures. He also said that we should learn from our past to know how to maintain trust and openness, because it’s important for our future success.

Apollo 1 was planned to lift off from Cape Kennedy Air Force Station on Feb. 21, 1967. The crew member included Gus Grissom as commander, Ed White, as senior pilot and the first American to walk in space, and Rounding Roger Chaffee, who was a third member from astronauts’ group from NASA.

On Jan. 27, 1967, the Apollo 1 crew reached at the Cape's Launch Complex 34 for a rehearsal of the launch. The crew boarded its spacecraft perched atop a Saturn 1B rocket.

But,at 6:31 p.m. EST fire occurred in the cockpit and the crew tried to open it, but could not and the crew perished before it could be opened.

Apollo 1 is important just like other missions no matter it got unsuccessful. Especially, it’s a lesson for NASA to learn and not to repeat same mistakes in its journey to explore space.

The participants of the ceremony included Apollo 16 lunar module pilot Charlie Duke, State Rep. Thad Altman, president and chief executive officer of the AMF, and Apollo launch team member John Tribe.

Different institutes also participated in the ceremony, including the Viera High School Army junior ROTC color guard and DeLaura Middle School in Satellite Beach performed the national anthem.The music team included Brandon Heath, a contemporary Christian musician from Nashville, Tennessee.

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