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This Day In History, 1967

(I know I haven't been doing these as often as before...but they will still pop up when I can.)

APOLLO 1 TRAGEDY:

A launch pad fire during Apollo program tests at Cape Canaveral, Florida, kills astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chafee. An investigation indicated that a faulty electrical wire inside the Apollo 1 command module was the probable cause of the fire. The astronauts, the first Americans to die in a spacecraft, had been participating in a simulation of the Apollo 1 launch scheduled for the next month.

The Apollo program was initiated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) following President John F. Kennedy's 1961 declaration of the goal of landing men on the moon and bringing them safely back to Earth by the end of the decade. The so-called "moon shot" was the largest scientific and technological undertaking in history. In December 1968, Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to travel to the moon, and on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. walked on the lunar surface. In all, there were 17 Apollo missions and six lunar landings.

(MAB note: This time of year has seen most NASA space tragedies.)
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It did take

about two years after Challenger (tomorrow's anniversary) before we started missions again, too.

We had a big discussion at the "How Will We Live in Space" panel about how in order to do things like manned missions to mars we need to start considering acceptable losses again.

*sadness*

I've always been saddened by this event, made more poignant to me since I'm born on the anniversary of it.
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