RIP Apollo 1 - 45 Years Ago Today


You know something amazing? Last night (actually the early morning) I had a vivid nightmare that I saw a rocket - the long, thin Saturn type rocket that they used in the Apollo program - slowly crashing down to the ground and bursting into flames. It was exaggeratedly and unrealistically enormous on the horizon, and as it burned, I cried out, in tears, for the astronauts, who I knew couldn’t have survived.

I swear to God, I really dreamed this. And I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA that it was the anniversary of this disaster until I saw this thread. I swear to God.

One day I’ll make it down to Launch Complex 34. I know that there’s not much to see, but it’s the principle that matters.

At least their sacrifice made a difference. The failure of Apollo 1 led directly to the survival of the Apollo 13 astronauts and the overall success of the Apollo program.

I was eight years old when we landed on the moon and nothing has been anywhere near as amazing since. We were up there. On the goldamn moon. Can you imagine the balls the next guys had after these fellows burned to death to sit atop a mountain of fuel? These men were badasses for science. Damn heroes for real and nothing has topped it since.

I remember this vividly–my father worked for the space program, so we followed all the launches. Gus Grissom had been my “favorite” astronaut, for no reason I can even vaguely remember (except maybe I liked the name “Gus”).

[slight hijack] 26 years ago today the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster [/slight hijack]

I was only 5 at the time of Apollo 1 and don’t remember anything about it.

Not sure what the logistics are on visiting that site at the Cape.

I’ve been to Grissom’s and Chaffee’s graves at Arlington. I had to ask where they were; the location is not on the regular visitor’s map. (Just checked the website; not there either.) They’re next to each other, in an older section of the cemetery, south of the Tomb of the Unknowns. Someone had been there recently and left flowers.

Aroud 2000 or so I took the ‘Then and Now’ of the older sections of the Kennedy Space Center. We got to go into the Mercury launch control center (which looked incredibly primitive by today’s standards, but I guess was state of the art back in the day). We also stopped at the site of the Apollo 1 fire. There really wasn’t much to see, but it was moving just being there.

I haven’t been there, but hope to eventually. FWIW, White’s buried in the United States Military Academy Post Cemetery at West Point.

Those men were heros, no two ways about it.

Four days from now (Feb. 1st) is the anniversary of the destruction of the Columbia space shuttle.

If you get tapped for a space mission, it’s best to schedule your vacation during the last week of January so that you won’t be available that week.

The site is very quiet and kind of lonely, as this launch site is a ways away from the rest of the complex. The launch gantry is still there of course (or was ten years ago assuming nothing has changed), and there is a plaque attached to the lower section commemorating the Apollo 1 astronauts. It is indeed moving to be there.

I was looking for information on the Apollo 1 fire and I saw a link to an audio file of the conversation between the astronauts and the tower during the fire. I clicked on it thinking that it wasn’t real.


I recall changes in the atmosphere in tests, the removal of some materials and quicker access to the hatch. Were there particular changes that led to the survival of Apollo 13?
And yes, of course they were heroes.
Was Ed White in the X-15 program?