Nov 05

Space Rocket History #136 – Apollo 1: What Went Wrong

What went wrong?  Even years after the investigators began to sift through the wreckage of Apollo 1 piece by piece, no one could say exactly.  But within weeks the general picture became clear:  The fire was a disaster waiting to happen.

Apollo 1 during the investigation

Apollo 1 during the investigation

Apollo 1 at Langley Research Center

Apollo 1 at Langley Research Center

Seamans, Webb, Mueller, and Apollo Program Director Phillips testify before a Senate hearing on the Apollo accident

Seamans, Webb, Mueller, and Apollo Program Director Phillips testify before a Senate hearing on the Apollo accident

Oct 29

Space Rocket History #135 – Apollo 1: The Investigation

The tragedy of Apollo 1 was widely reported in the Soviet Union. The Soviets sent condolences and letters to the families of the men who had died. But, the Soviet Press criticized the US for an overzealous attempt to send men to the moon.

Apollo 1 Command Module disassembled for the investigation

Apollo 1 Command Module disassembled for the investigation

Apollo 1 Command Module parts were studied and catalogued in the Pyrotechnics Installation Building at KSC

Apollo 1 Command Module parts were studied and catalogued in the Pyrotechnics Installation Building at KSC

Apollo 1 Command Module wiring harness goes through X-Ray inspection

Apollo 1 Command Module wiring harness goes through X-Ray inspection

Oct 22

Space Rocket History #134 – Apollo 1: Plugs Out – Part 2 – The Price of Progress

When Deke Slayton and Stu Roosa arrived at pad 34 they saw ambulances waiting in vain at the base of the launch tower.  They boarded the small elevator and rode to level A-8, 218 feet up, and headed across the swing arm to the clean room…

Exterior of the Command Module was blackened from eruption of the fire after the cabin wall failed

Exterior of the Command Module was blackened from eruption of the fire after the cabin wall failed

Interior of Apollo 1 Command Module after the fire

Interior of Apollo 1 Command Module after the fire

Apollo 1 Environmental Control System, located in the forward section near the floor. The fire may have started in this area.

Apollo 1 Environmental Control System, located in the forward section near the floor. The fire may have started in this area.

Oct 15

Space Rocket History #133 – Apollo 1: Plugs Out – Part 1 – The Fire

The “Plugs Out” test scheduled for Jan 27, 1967 was not the first time that spacecraft 12 had been put through a simulated run with people on board…

Block I hatch consisted of two pieces and required pressure inside the cabin be no greater than atmospheric to open

Block I hatch consisted of two pieces and required pressure inside the cabin be no greater than atmospheric to open

The Apollo 1 crew enter their spacecraft in the altitude chamber at Kennedy Space Center, October 18, 1966

The Apollo 1 crew enter their spacecraft in the altitude chamber at Kennedy Space Center, October 18, 1966

Prime & backup crews 4/1/66. Backup crew Scott, McDivitt & Schweickart were replaced by Schirra, Eisele & Cunningham

Prime & backup crews 4/1/66. Backup crew Scott, McDivitt & Schweickart were replaced by Schirra, Eisele & Cunningham

Oct 08

Space Rocket History #132 – Apollo 1: Astronauts – Part 2 – Chaffee

“On my honor I will do my best, To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times;  To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” The Boy Scout Oath.

Chaffee in Mission Control for Gemini 3

Chaffee in Mission Control for Gemini 3

Chaffee with Apollo 1 Model

Chaffee with Apollo 1 Model

Apollo 1 Mission Patch

Apollo 1 Mission Patch

Oct 01

Space Rocket History #131 – Apollo 1: Astronauts – Part 1- Grissom & White

“So the reason I took those symbols was that I think this was the most important thing I had going for me, and I felt that while I couldn’t take one for every religion in the country, I could take the three I was most familiar with.”  Ed. White

Apollo 1 Crew Sketch

Apollo 1 Crew Sketch

Apollo 1 Crew

Apollo 1 Crew

Chaffee, White, and Grissom

Chaffee, White, and Grissom

Sep 17

Space Rocket History #130 – Apollo 1: Preparation

While flight-preparation crews were having problems, Grissom, White, and Chaffee were finding bottlenecks in training activities. The chief problem was keeping the Apollo mission simulator current with changes being made in spacecraft 012.

Command and Service Modules 012 at North American

Command and Service Modules 012 at North American

Apollo 1 Arrives at the Cape

Apollo 1 Arrives at the Cape

Grissom, Chaffee, & White check the communications headgear

Grissom, Chaffee, & White check the communications headgear