9 thoughts on “Apollo 1”

  1. 55 years… it only took a few years to design and develop that rocket they sat atop. Their death would add a few more years before first flight, but still, the speed of progress is well beyond what NASA can do now.

    Happy Birthday, Rand!

    Also, remembrance for those that died aboard Challenger and Columbia.

  2. Happy Birthday, Rand!

    I have to commend the article; it gets right what so many get wrong; that NASA changed the gas mix on the pad only. They switched to pure O2 during flight, but at a lower pressure (5 PSI). I’ve seen no end of claims that NASA went to a nitrogen/O2 mix for flight after Apollo 1. They didn’t. Why? Because at 5psi, pure O2 is nowhere near as problematic as it is at 16psi.

    And I agree with Leyland above; the Saturn development took only a few years. Compared to SLS, the Saturn 5 was a vastly harder project. Yet, in real-dollar terms, not to mention the vast difference in timelines, Saturn 5 was actually cheaper per unit (massively unaffordable though it was). The Saturn 5 also had a greater throw weight through TLI than even the SLS 1B is claimed to have. So, at astronomical cost, we’ve gone backwards.

  3. Happy Birthday Rand.

    Downstate East-Central Illinois was in the grips of the aftermath of a major ice storm at that time. Electricity in our little town had been off for days. I remember hearing about the Apollo 1 pad fire & disaster over a battery powered transistor radio as our family huddled in the kitchen using the heat from our gas fired oven and blankets and cushions pulled from the bedrooms and living room to keep warm. Kerosene lamp light by night.

  4. I see Rand pick for the Supreme Court. In her highly esteemed light hearted opinion believes these men either died for nothing or didn’t die in Apollo 1. Very qualified.

  5. I was in 11th grade when this happened and very much looking forward to the initial flights of Apollo and Soyuz in 1967. Having them both fail (and kill crews) so close together was pretty sad for me. Apollo 13 and Soyuz 11 were not quite so close together, but engendered a similar feeling.

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