Picture of Apollo 1 spacecraft
The Apollo space program, scheduled for its first launch on Feb. 21, 1967, started in tragedy. On Jan. 27, 1967, astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were practicing for launch when fire was smelled in the command module.
The fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring. By the time technicians got the complicated escape hatch open, the astronauts trapped inside had died.
This was a sad day in space history. Further Apollo missions had to be postponed for over a year, as these problems were resolved and safety improvements were made.
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