NASA Remembers Fallen Heroes: 50th Anniv of Apollo 1 Tragedy

Posted January 30, 2017

This year, at the Kennedy Space Center from Florida, they will reveal a tribute to Apollo 1.

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. White II, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee.

"Although the fire took place across the river on Launch Pad 34, their story didn't end there and their legacy lives on today", says Sheryl Chaffee, daughter of Roger Chaffee. "To those in my generation who watched as these folks pushed that envelope and ultimately got us to the moon, that is why I am here, [and] that is why most of the people of my generation are here". 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.

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Moonwalkers and dozens of others who took part in NASA's storied Apollo program paid tribute Thursday to the three astronauts killed in a fire 50 years ago. This is the first time any part of the Apollo 1 spacecraft has been displayed publicly. It is also to pay tributes to the astronauts of the Shuttle Columbia, who died on February 1, 2003, when the spaceship broke apart as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere.

"Yes, Apollo 1 did cause three deaths", said Collins, "but I believe it saved more than three later".

The families saw the capsule for the first time during a private tour yesterday, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation is holding their annual observance ceremony today, and the hatch will officially be on display to the public Friday, January 27.

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Chaffee was about to have his flight in space and was looking forward to it.

Remnants from the 1986 Challenger and 2003 Columbia shuttles have been on display for more than a year, so those affected by the Apollo 1 tragedy are glad NASA chose to display the piece in their memory.

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