April 3, 1926 – U.S. astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom is born

Gus GrissomAccording to Wikipedia:

Virgil Ivan “Gus” Grissom (April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967) was a United States Air Force pilot and a NASA astronaut. A native of Mitchell, Indiana, he was the second American to fly in space. He was killed during a training exercise and test for the Apollo One mission on January 27, 1967 at Launch Complex 34, Cape Kennedy, along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee. Grissom was a posthumous recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

Although the ignition source of the fire was never determined their deaths were attributed to a wide range of lethal design hazards in the early Apollo command module such as its highly pressurized 100% oxygen atmosphere during the test, many wiring and plumbing flaws, flammable materials in the cockpit, a hatch which might not open at all in an emergency and even the flightsuits worn by the astronauts. Despite repeated requests from his widow Betty Moore Grissom and other members of his family, no independent inquiry has ever been carried out into the Apollo 1 incident.

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~ by tellinghistory on April 3, 2008.

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