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Apollo I

January 27th, 1967

Three men died on this mission when the space shuttle caught on fire.

On Jan. 27, 1967, tragedy struck the Apollo program when a flash fire occurred in Command Module 012 during a launch pad test of the Apollo/Saturn space vehicle being prepared for the first piloted flight, the AS-204 mission.
Tragedy Strikes
IMAGE: Apollo 1 Crew
Mission Apollo I
Crew Virgil Grissom
Edward White
Roger Chaffee
Preflight
Accident
Jan. 27, 1967
6:31 p.m. EST


IMAGE: Apollo 40th anniversary

IMAGE: The Apollo 1 Mission

On Jan. 27, 1967, tragedy struck the Apollo program when a flash fire occurred in Command Module 012 during a launch pad test of the Apollo/Saturn space vehicle being prepared for the first piloted flight, the AS-204 mission. Three astronauts, Lt. Col. Virgil I. Grissom, a veteran of Mercury and Gemini missions; Lt. Col. Edward H. White, the astronaut who had performed the first United States extravehicular activity during the Gemini program; and Lt. Cmdr. Roger B. Chaffee, an astronaut preparing for his first space flight, died in this tragic accident.

A report submitted to the NASA Administrator in April 1967 presented the results of the investigation and made specific recommendations that led to major modifications and revisions to the Apollo Command Module. With these changes, the overall safety of the Command and Service module and the Lunar Module was increased substantially. The AS-204 mission was redesignated Apollo I in honor of the crew.

Crew Patch
IMAGE: Apollo 1 crew patch

 

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Apollo-1 (20)

Pad 34 (7)
Saturn-1B AS-204 (4)
CSM-012 ()
Apollo Pad Fire

 

Crew:

Virgil I. Grissom
Edward H. White II
Roger B. Chaffee

 

Backup Crew:

Walter M. Schirra, Jr
Donn F. Eisele
Walter Cunningham

 

Payload:

Spacecraft-012
 

Mission Objective:

 

January 27, 1967. Tragedy struck on the launch pad during a preflight test for Apollo 204 (AS-204), which was scheduled to be the first Apollo manned mission, and would have been launched on February 21, 1967. Astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee lost their lives when a fire swept through the Command Module (CM).

 

The exhaustive investigation of the fire and extensive reworking of the CMs postponed any manned launch until NASA officials cleared the CM for manned flight. Saturn 1B schedules were suspended for nearly a year, and the launch vehicle that finally bore the designation AS-204 carried a Lunar Module (LM) as the payload, not the Apollo CM. The missions of AS-201 and AS-202 with Apollo spacecraft aboard had been unofficially known as Apollo 1 and Apollo 2 missions (AS-203 carried only the aerodynamic nose cone). In the spring of 1967, NASA's Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, Dr. George E. Mueller, announced that the mission originally scheduled for Grissom, White and Chaffee would be known as Apollo 1, and said that the first Saturn V launch, scheduled for November 1967, would be known as Apollo 4. The eventual launch of AS-204 became known as the Apollo 5 mission (no missions or flights were ever designated Apollo 2 and 3).

 

The second launch of a Saturn V took place on schedule in the early morning of April 4, 1968. Known as AS-502, or Apollo 6, the flight was a success, though two first stage engines shut down prematurely, and the third stage engine failed to re-ignite after reaching orbit.
The Apollo program was an American spaceflight endeavor that landed the first humans on Earth's Moon.

Apollo Program

Astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt on December 13, 1972, during the Apollo 17mission, the last human lunar landing to date

November 7, 1962 - July 13, 1974

The Apollo program was an American spaceflight endeavor that landed the first humans on Earth's Moon. Conceived during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower and conducted by NASA, Apollo began in earnest after President John F. Kennedy's May 25, 1961 special address to a joint session of Congress declaring a national goal of "landing a man on the Moon" by the end of the decade.

This goal was accomplished with the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969 when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit. Five subsequent Apollo missions also landed astronauts on the Moon, the last in December 1972. In these six Apollo spaceflights, twelve men walked on the Moon. These are the only times humans have landed on another celestial body.[3]
The Apollo program ran from 1961 until 1975, and was the US civilian space agency's third human spaceflight program (following Mercury and Gemini). Apollo used Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicles, which were later used for the Skylab program and the joint American-Soviet Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. These subsequent programs are thus often considered part of the Apollo program.

The program was accomplished with only two major setbacks. The first was the Apollo 1 launch pad fire that resulted in the deaths of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. The second was an oxygen tank rupture on Apollo 13 during the moonward phase of its journey, which disabled the command spacecraft. The three astronauts aboard narrowly escaped with their lives, thanks to the efforts of flight controllers, project engineers, backup crew members and the skills of the astronauts.

Apollo set major milestones in human spaceflight. It stands alone in sending manned missions beyond low Earth orbit; Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to orbit another celestial body, while Apollo 17 marked the last moonwalk and the last manned mission beyond low Earth orbit. The program spurred advances in many areas of technology incidental to rocketry and manned spaceflight, including avionics, telecommunications, and computers. Apollo sparked interest in many fields of engineering and left many physical facilities and machines developed for the program as landmarks. Many objects and artifacts from the program are on display at locations throughout the world, notably in the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museums.

- Wikipedia 4-10-2010.

Wikipedia Summary of missions

U.S. Mission Booster Crew Launched Mission Goal Mission Result
AS-201 Saturn 1B Unmanned February 26, 1966 Suborbital Partial Success - Unmanned suborbital flight was the first test flight of Saturn 1B and of the Apollo Command and Service Modules; problems included a fault in the electrical power system and a 30 percent decrease in pressure to the service module engine 80 seconds after firing.
AS-203 Saturn 1B Unmanned July 5, 1966 Earth orbit Success - fuel tank behavior test and booster certification - informally proposed later as Apollo 2, this name was never approved.
AS-202 Saturn 1B Unmanned August 25, 1966 Suborbital Success - command module reentry test successful, even though reentry was very uncontrolled. Informally proposed as Apollo 3, this name was never approved.
AS-204 (Apollo 1) Saturn 1B Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward White, Roger B. Chaffee (Launch cancelled) Earth orbit Failure - never launched: command module destroyed and three astronauts killed on 27 January 1967 by fire in the module during a test exercise - Retroactively, the mission's name was officially changed to "Apollo 1" after the fire. Although it was scheduled to be the fourth Apollo mission (and despite the fact that NASA planned to call the mission AS-204), the flight patch worn by the three astronauts, which was approved by NASA in June 1966, already referred to the mission as "Apollo 1"
Apollo 4 Saturn V Unmanned November 9, 1967 Earth orbit Success - first test of new booster and all elements together (except lunar module), successful reentry of command module
Apollo 5 Saturn 1B Unmanned January 22, 1968 Earth orbit Success - first flight of lunar module (LM); multiple space tests of LM, no command or service module flown; no controlled reentry. Used the Saturn 1B originally slated for the cancelled manned AS-204 ("Apollo 1") mission
Apollo 6 Saturn V Unmanned April 4, 1968 Earth orbit Partial success - severe oscillations during orbital insertion, several engines failing during flight, successful reentry of command module (though mission parameters for a 'worst case' reentry scenario could not be achieved)
Apollo 7 Saturn 1B Walter M. "Wally" Schirra, Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham October 11, 1968 Earth orbit Success - eleven-day manned Earth orbit, command module testing (no lunar module), some minor crew and illness issues (all three men caught the same head-cold and reported stress).
Apollo 8 Saturn V Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, William A. Anders December 21, 1968 Lunar orbit Success - ambitious mission profile (changed relatively shortly before launch), first human lunar orbit (no lunar module), first earthrise seen by men and major publicity success, some minor sleeping and illness issues
Apollo 9 Saturn V James McDivitt, David Scott, Russell L. "Rusty" Schweickart March 3, 1969 Earth orbit Success - ten-day manned Earth orbit, with EVA and successful manned flight / docking of lunar module
Apollo 10 Saturn V Thomas P. Stafford, John W. Young, Eugene Cernan May 18, 1969 Lunar orbit Success - second manned lunar flight; first test of lunar module in lunar orbit; "dress rehearsal" for first landing, coming to 8.4 nautical miles (15.6 km) to the Moon's surface
Apollo 11 Saturn V Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin July 16, 1969 Lunar landing Success - first manned landing on the Moon (manual landing required), exploration on foot in direct vicinity of landing site; one EVA
Apollo 12 Saturn V Charles "Pete" Conrad, Richard Gordon, Alan Bean November 14, 1969 Lunar landing Success - mission almost aborted after lightning struck at launch with brief loss of fuel cells and telemetry; successful landing within walking distance (less than 200 meters) of the Surveyor 3 probe; two EVAs
Apollo 13 Saturn V Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, Fred Haise April 11, 1970 Lunar landing Partial Failure [30] - early shutdown of inboard S-II engine; unrelated oxygen tank rupture in service module during Earth-Moon transition caused mission to be aborted - crew took temporary refuge in the lunar module and returned safely to Earth after a single pass around the Moon.
Apollo 14 Saturn V Alan B. Shepard, Stuart Roosa, Edgar Mitchell January 31, 1971 Lunar landing Success - docking problems, abort switch contamination and delayed landing radar acquisition all threatened landing; first color video images from the Moon; first materials science experiments in space; two EVAs
Apollo 15 Saturn V David Scott, Alfred Worden, James Irwin July 26, 1971 Lunar landing Success - first longer (3 days) stay on Moon, first use of lunar rover to travel total of 17.25 miles (27.76 km), more extensive geology investigations; 1 lunar "standup" EVA, 3 lunar surface EVAs plus deep space EVA
Apollo 16 Saturn V John W. Young, Ken Mattingly, Charles Duke April 16, 1972 Lunar landing Success - malfunction in a backup yaw gimbal servo loop almost aborted landing (and reduced stay duration in lunar orbit by one day for safety reasons); only mission to target lunar highlands; malfunction prevented controlled ascent stage impact after jettison; 3 lunar EVAs plus deep space EVA
Apollo 17 Saturn V Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt December 7, 1972 Lunar landing Success - last manned landing on the Moon, only mission with a scientist (geologist) on board; this is also the latest manned moon landing and manned flight beyond low Earth orbit; 3 lunar EVAs plus deep space EVA
Skylab 1 Saturn V Unmanned May 14, 1973 Earth orbit Partial Success - Launch of Skylab space station; micrometeoroid shield and one solar panel lost at launch, second jammed during deployment
Skylab 2 Saturn 1B Charles "Pete" Conrad, Paul Weitz, Joseph Kerwin May 25, 1973 Space station mission Success - Apollo spacecraft takes first US crew to Skylab, the first American space station, for a 28 day stay; freed stuck solar panel and deployed replacement sunshield
Skylab 3 Saturn 1B Alan Bean, Jack Lousma, Owen Garriott July 28, 1973 Space Station mission Success - Apollo spacecraft takes second US crew to the Skylab space station for a 59 day stay
Skylab 4 Saturn 1B Gerald Carr, William Pogue, Edward Gibson November 16, 1973 Space station mission Success - Apollo spacecraft takes third US crew to the Skylab space station for an 84 day stay
ASTP (Apollo 18) Saturn 1B Thomas P. Stafford, Vance D. Brand, Donald K. "Deke" Slayton July 15, 1975 Earth orbit Success - Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, in which an Apollo space craft conducted rendezvous and docking exercises with SovietSoyuz 19 in space - sometimes referred to as "Apollo 18"
Planned Apollo 18, Apollo 19, and Apollo 20 Moon Missions Saturn V Missions cancelled Never launched Lunar landings Cancelled - Several more missions (with detailed planning for up to Apollo 20) were cancelled

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