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Air Force Remembers Apollo 1 Astronauts

Astronauts (left to right) Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee, pose in front of Launch Complex 34 which is housing their Saturn 1 launch vehicle. The astronauts died ten days later in a fire on the launch pad. Photo: NASA

The Air Force is remembering three Apollo astronauts who died 49 years ago at Cape Canaveral.

Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee died during a command module fire at launch complex 34.

It was during a launch pad test for what would be the first Apollo mission, NASA’s program to send humans to the moon.

Speakers from NASA, the Air Force and Navy will remember the three astronauts, and family members will light a candle at the launch complex in their memory. At 6:31 pm, the time of the fire, there will be a moment of silence.

The tragedy delayed manned spaceflight for 20 months. The Apollo 1 backup crew returned to flight on Apollo 7.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »