Apollo 1

Topics: Apollo program, Apollo 1, Kennedy Space Center Pages: 2 (865 words) Published: April 17, 2012
Apollo One is the name given to the AS-204 spacecraft after it was destroyed by fire during a training exercise. January 27, 1967 the crew of Apollo commonly known as Saturn 204 began training for the first Apollo mission. On this mission they were going to orbit Earth, they were scheduled to launch February 21. The AS-204 mission was scheduled for the first quarter of 1967, having already missed a target date for the last quarter of 1966. The shuttle was placed on launch pad 34 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was sitting on a Saturn 1B rocket. The shuttle was set on a launching pad as if they were going to launch it, but it wasn’t fueled. It was a simulation test to go through the launching actions. Astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom the second American astronaut to fly into space, Edward H. White II the first American astronaut to "walk" in space, and Roger B. Chaffee a "rookie" astronaut on his first space mission. They began the process at 1:00PM. From the beginning they had a lot of problems (including communication failures); this delayed their practice run until 5:40PM. At 6:31PM they finally heard a voice that was believed to be Chaffee’s announced almost casually over the intercom: "Fire, I smell fire." Two seconds later, Astronaut White's voice was more insistent: "Fire in the cockpit.” It wasn’t very clear but it’s believed it said “I smell fire.” The fire spread very quickly. The astronauts died of carbon monoxide asphyxia, with thermal burns. The high-pressure, 100% oxygen atmosphere for the test, wiring and plumbing flaws, flammable materials in the cockpit, an inward-opening hatch that would not open in this kind of an emergency, and the flight suits worn by the astronauts were the major hazards during this test flight. The spacecraft technicians tried to run to the shuttle and save them, but before they could it collapsed sending up big black clouds of smoke. The Apollo hatch could only open inward and was held closed...
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