Apollo 1

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Apollo 1 (official designation Apollo/Saturn-204) was planned to be the first manned mission of the Apollo manned lunar landing program, set to launch in February 1967. Its flight was precluded by a fatal fire on January 27, which killed all three crew members (Command Pilot Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee), and destroyed the Command Module cabin. This occurred during a pre-launch test of the spacecraft on Launch Pad 34 at Cape Canaveral. The name Apollo 1, chosen by the crew, was officially assigned retroactively in commemoration of them.

The Apollo 204 Accident Review Board was promptly formed to determine the cause of the tragedy. Although the ignition source of the fire was never conclusively identified, the astronauts' deaths were attributed to a wide range of lethal design and construction flaws in the early Apollo Command Module. The manned phase of the project was delayed for twenty months while these problems were fixed. The Saturn IB launch vehicle SA-204 (Saturn/Apollo) intended to fly the mission was later used for the first unmanned Lunar Module test flight, Apollo 5.


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