On Jan. 27, 1967, veteran astronaut Gus Grissom, first American spacewalker Ed White and rookie Roger Chaffee (left-to-right) were preparing for what was to be the first manned Apollo flight. The astronauts were sitting atop the launch pad for a pre-launch test when a fire broke out in their Apollo capsule.
Astronauts Gus Grissom/ Edward White/ Roger Chaffee in front of the launch pad, 1967. They were to pilot the first manned Apollo mission. Tragically, during launch pad testing, a fire would asphyxiate them. The mission was originally designated the Apollo 204, but was renamed Apollo 1 in their recognition
Astronomy - Astronauts: January 27, 1967 newspaper story of tragic Apollo 1 flash fire accident on Launchpad Complex 34 killed all three crew members—Command Pilot Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee—and destroyed the Command Module (CM).
Remembering Apollo 1 On January 27, 1967, Apollo 1's crew--Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White II and Roger B. Chaffee--was killed when a fire erupted in their capsule during testing. Apollo 1 was originally designated AS-204 but following the fire, the astronauts' widows requested that the mission be remembered as Apollo 1 and following missions would be numbered subsequent to the flight that never made it into space. Image credit: NASA