Talk:Apollo 1/Archive 1

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Archive 1

Early comments

I understand that the WikiProject:Space policy is to link to only manned missions, but in the case of the Apollo program, that policy contributes to the forgetting of Apollos 4, 5, and 6. --the Epopt

It does seem odd that a Gemini mission is listed as the "Previous" link here, rather than listing AS-202 or perhaps AS-203, which were actually Apollo system test launches. Tempshill 05:47, 27 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone have an official NASA picture of the two plaques that we can use? -- jon787

I couldn't find public domain photos of the plaques. I created drawings of them in Paint Shop Pro and posted the illustrations in the article. Error 404 06:33, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

On 23 Oct [1] an anon editor added a comment at the tail of this article linking to Silver fire, an article which is mostly (as the comment says) "another explanation" of the fire, but one with with an apparent agenda (since edited for NPOV by an editor who also questions its credibility on its Talk page). I don't know enough about the subject to judge whether these are conflicting or just different versions of the same phenomenon, so I don't know what to do with them, but I know the comment as it is (especially where it is) isn't proper. Any insights? (The same anon editor also made a drive-by out-of-context link to Silver fire on Ethylene glycol) Tverbeek 21:31, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The article states that the crew died in about 15 seconds. Later, the NASA report says that the crew died from smoke inhalation rather than burns. I am wondering how it is possible for 3 men to die from smoke inhalation in 15 seconds.

Smoke Inhalation?

Not that I think there is a malicious reason to do so, but for the sake of a grieving nation, and perhaps for the families peace-of-mind, the Board may have elected to say that the men died quickly of relatively painless smoke inhalation, rather than suffering through melting and excruciating agony while burning to death.

It's a kind lie.

Agreed. It is likely that the astronauts survived only a few seconds after the start of the fire; this is not long enough to die of smoke inhalation. However, a single breath of superheated gas might do it, but the cause here is massive thermal injury, not the effects of inhaled toxins in the smoke. Preacherdoc 20:29, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
It's possible that smoke inhalation could have rendered the men inside the cabin unconscious before they could save themselves, and the autopsy reports indicate that not enough burn damage had been done to any of the astronauts to result in immediate death (though one suffered 50% full thickness skin burns which in the 60s would have almost certainly resulted in death after several days in hospital). I don't have my source handy just now but I would imagine there should be an autopsy report on the NASA site somewhere or at least a summery. If I remember the source correctly one astronaut's suit (Chaffee?) was only 20-30% destroyed and he had very minor burn injuries. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by PhennPhawcks (talkcontribs) 02:20, 21 January 2007 (UTC).
According to the Apollo 1 audio transmission, transcription and timecoding provided by Spacecraft Films, there were indications of crew movement in the cabin at 6:30:38:21, followed at 6:30:54:02 by a voltage transient (surge in AC Bus 2 voltage). The first stage of the fire broke out along the left side cabin wall at 6:30:56:29 with the spacecraft atmospheric pressure measuring 16.4 PSI. Chaffee's first word of "Hey. . ." came at 6:31:04:19 as the atmospheric pressure rose slightly to 16.5 PSI when White reported at 6:31:07:10, "Fire! We've got a fire in the cockpit. . ." The atmospheric pressure rose to 17.0 PSI as the second stage of the fire moved across the cabin. In the time it took Chaffee to report "We have a bad fire. . .We're burning up. . ." from 6:31:17:02 to 6:31:21:01 (four seconds), the cabin pressure jumped from 20.0 PSI to 36.0 PSI -- at which point the spacecraft structure burst as the fire consumed all the oxygen inside the cabin, as all transmission from within the cockpit ended at 6:31:22:20. Barely five seconds later at 6:31:26:05, the third stage of the fire resulted in heavy smoke as all the oxygen was depleted inside the cabin, effectively rendering the crew unconscious. Finally, at 6:31:31:11 -- just 27 seconds from Chaffee's first warning to the end of audio transmission, the Command Module atmosphere was considered lethal to the crew. Hope this clarifies any further questions on the matterWSpaceport 19:58, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Controversy Section

The controversy section seems devoted to a very tenuous conspiracy theory that is lacking any evidentiary support. Usenet claims made by anonymous sources do not seem to meet Wikipedia standards for inclusion. I propose removing this section or beefing it up with something more tangible. --Jim Lipsey 16:43, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Were they crazy?

  • The atmosphere would not be pressurized to two lb/in² (14 kPa) above atmospheric pressure

2 psi over sea level atmospheric pressure (1.14 atm)? Pure oxygen? What's wrong with them? I mean the cabin pressure of a typical commercial airlinear is about 0.75 atm of normal air (20% oxygen; 0.15 atm O2; FAA requirement; air pressure at 8,000 ft). Why did they use such ridiculous high pressure of pure oxygen during a simulation?

If they wanted to simulate a 0.14 atm positive pressure in space, they might had pumped 0.94 atm extra nitrogen to the cabin (total pressure: 0.94 atm N2 + 0.2 atm O2 = 1.2 atm). It would be breathable and safe. Why couldn't they do that on the ground? I mean since you were not in space, you could afford to attach some additional gas tanks and pumps.

What was the actual cabin pressure when they were in space? It it was 0.14 atm pure oxygen, the pressure would have been too low (only enough oxygen) but the risk of a fire was nearly zero. You could set the pressure a little higher (lowest pressure a man could handle) and still use pure oxygen. The risk of a fire increased with added oxygen pressure. But letting them breath pure oxygen saved some weight. If anything went wrong (such as the Apollo 13 oxygen tank explosion), the remaining pure oxygen in cabin could let them survive longer. I guess it was a good choice to use pure oxygen in space. -- Toytoy 13:33, Apr 24, 2005 (UTC)

Can anyone confirm the figures above? I can't find good documentation of the internal cabin pressure of the capsule in space. 14kPa above absolute vacuum (0.14 atm) of pure oxygen would provide a perfectly breathable partial pressure of oxygen for the astronauts. Is that, then the actual pressure that should have been in the capsule? And did they pressure test the capsule to 1.14atm?
In space, using pure oxygen at very low pressure seems justifiable. However, I agree that pressure testing the CSM with hyperbaric oxygen was a disaster waiting to happen; like looking for a gas leak with burning matches.Preacherdoc 20:38, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Back to the original question, it would seem to be a case of NASA cutting corners on saftey in order to save time and money. They had two tests they needed to conduct - a cabin leak check, which required the high pressure, and a practice countdown, which is why the crew was inside, and there was a pure oxygen environment. --GW_Simulations|User Page | Talk | Contribs | Chess | E-mail 21:06, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Those numbers sound right, based on Collins. The suit pressure was around 3.7psi (less than a modern STS suit, which is about .3atm {0.338bar)). And it was less cutting corners than a limitation on the Saturn booster. The Soviets used a safer NO2 system because their lifters could throw more. I don't recall the reason for the high pressure in the plugs out test situation, but recall, NASA'd conducted pressure tests at above 1atm in pure O2 routinely before without any mishaps. This time, the dice came up snakeyes. And if it was up to me, it would be a national holiday. Trekphiler 14:10, 20 December 2006 & 09:49, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Nitrogen in the cabin would have reduced the risk of fire, but would not have been risk free. Nitrogen under pressure disolves in human blood, when the pressure is released it comes out of solution and forms bubbles, just like carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks, causing the bends. This means the astronauts would have had to undergo a decompression in order to mitigate the risks of the bends before leaving the spacecraft, and if an emergency egress was necessary the crew would be in very real danger of suffering a decompression injury. Additionally as nitrogen and oxygen have different atomic masses, it would be possible for one gas to leak and the other to be contained, thus introducing a possibility of error into leak tests. I don't know for certain if the latter was ever used as justification for pure oxygen but I do know engineers tend to like to make tests as close to the real thing as humanly possible when validating machinery, especially machinery that will be responsible for keeping people alive in a hostile environment. --G. McVey 02:29, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
The possibility that astronauts could develop bends shall not be a problem. Just let them breathe deep diver's mix. The less than 2 atm pressure also was not so high to cause bends, I guess. -- Toytoy 03:07, 16 May 2007 (UTC)


In the article it says the pressure of the capsule was 100 kPa. That's less than 1 atm, since 1 atm is 101 kPa. And yet it says, the cabin was pressurized above 1 atm. Am I missing something? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:39, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


That's preposterous. Why would NASA jeopardize President Kennedy's dream to exact a petty vendetta? If they were really out to get him, they would have done the deed at Gemini 3, not Apollo 1.

(Then again, some people are immune to simple logic.) --Kitch 10:35, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

K.I.S.S. keep it simple.... stupid! If the govt or nasa wanted Grissom dead his breaks would have failed or he would have had a "heart attack". Didn't you conspiracy guys watch X Files? Why would they set him on fire in the most public way possible? WayeMason 11:34, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Because there are a lot of stupid goobers out there in the world who genuinely believe that nothing bad ever happens to anyone unless it's enemy action. RGTraynor 21:06, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Among the astronauts, Grissom was the most critical of the problem-plagued Apollo program, and the main Apollo contractor, North American Aviation. Shortly before his death, Grissom had taken a large lemon and hung it around the space capsule as the press looked on.

FWIW, this is a common mistake made in countless histories -- Grissom hung the lemon on a balky Apollo simulator, not the actual spacecraft. And the press would likely have not been present at the time. StanislavJ 23:52, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
That the lemon was hung on a simulator was always how I knew the story. I'll try to find verification because edits to that effect are being reverted. Charles Oppermann (talk) 00:46, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
I've added the version from the NASA history, with a Grissom quote as remembered by his wife Betty. Gwen Gale (talk) 00:58, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
I can find NASA history sources both for "spacecraft" [2], and "trainer" [3]. It would appear there are more mentions of trainer (or simulator) than there is of spacecraft. However, the one "spacecraft" reference appears to come from Betty Grissom: Betty had no idea what he was up to and asked what he planned to do with the lemon. " 'I'm going to hang it on that spacecraft,' Gus said grimly and kissed her goodbye." A reference cites "Betty Grissom and Henry Still, Starfall (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1974) page 182". That's not definitive that the lemon was hung on CM 012 (or any other CM), Betty Grissom could be mis-remembering, or Gus said "spacecraft" and then hung the lemon on the simulator. The "simulator" reference gives an indication that the lemon represented Grissom's displeasure with the simulator (and not neccessarily the actual CM or it's design) because it wasn't keeping pace with the number of changes being made to the actual command module. I think therefore it's important to get this little piece of history correct.Charles Oppermann (talk) 01:15, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Yep. Please note, the article text no longer says where he hung the lemon, nor if he hung it anywhere. Gwen Gale (talk) 01:20, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

He had suggested publicly that the project could never be accomplished on time. The Grissom family had reason to doubt the official NASA ruling from the beginning. Even before Apollo I, Grissom had received death threats which his family believed emanated from within the space program. The threats were serious enough that he was put under Secret Service protection and had been moved from his home to a secure safe house. According to his wife, Grissom had warned her that "if there is ever a serious accident in the space program, it's likely to be me." Don't put down the facts unless you have solid evidence to back it up - the families want an independent investigation to learn of the true cause of the fire and the deaths of their love ones. What if it was your father or husband? Wouldn't you want to know the truth - I believe you would. I know the Grissom family and they are honest people and would not make anything up just for PR or any other reason. I support the family and believe that there is more to the fire than reported. KMA January 27, 2006 (39th Anniversity of Apollo One)

If you can provide credible sources for any of the "facts' thats super! Footnotes. Etc. A bunch of conspiracists verifying one and others theories is hardly credible. Its not that I and we want to "put down the facts", rather, there are no facts presented, but for the link to a defunct website, that may or may not have existed. I am all for truth and fairness in reporting the facts, but a) you need footnotes and b) wikipedia is not a platform for publishing theories, its for reporting on published theories. You need to provide solid evidence of your theories, I don't have to provide solid evidence contradicting your theories. WayeMason 02:02, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Orgy in Command Couches - vandalism

Is the sex orgy really verifiable information? Perhaps a user more familiar with editing Wikipedia entries (not vandalizing them) could fix this. It's a bit disgraceful. (Just needed to point this out ASAP.) - 19:14, 27 January 2006 (UTC)


The article says "Apollo One is the name given retroactively to the Apollo/Saturn 204 ..." But in the photo, the astronauts are wearing "Apollo 1" patches, aren't they? The mission would have been called "Apollo 1" if it flew, wouldn't it? I know that after the fire, at first they wanted to just call it 204 (the designation of the capsule), and then they were persuaded to keep calling it "Apollo 1". But why call it "retroactive", if patches, etc made before the fire were "Apollo 1"? Bubba73 (talk), 05:32, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Basically, the astronauts called it Apollo 1, and had patches made unofficially to reflect this. A camaign after their death had it offically renamed Apollo 1 - had it flown, it probably would have been AS-204 on all official documents. Shimgray | talk | 14:01, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
What avout in the press and history books? My guess (and I may be wrong), is that everyone would have called it Apollo 1. Very few people call Friendship 7 by its official name of Mercury/Atlas 6. No one calls Apollo 11 the official " Apollo/Saturn 506 ". Bubba73 (talk), 14:43, 4 February 2006 (UTC)
This is true, but we don't know this - it was going to be called Apollo-Saturn 204 (or maybe Saturn-Apollo 204, in some parts of NASA... the booster people had different opinions). It's quite possible it would have ended up being called "Apollo 4", or somesuch - remember that the first Gemini mission was GT-3, Gemini 3. And the limited public attention to early Shuttle missions always used the arcane "STS-41-D" numbering system, rather than simply "STS-10", but that's another story entirely... I really do need to write that article on NASA mission numbering. Shimgray | talk | 17:46, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Before the fire, it was called "Apollo 1" in a few NASA documents and NASA approved the name Apollo 1. From the way I understand it, NASA didn't want to call it "Apollo 1" after the fire, they wanted to call it 204, or a version of that. 204 is basically the serial number of the command module. Then "Apollo 1" would either go unused or would be the name of a manned or unmanned flight. When See and Bassett were scheduled for Gemini 9, and they were killed, it was still generally called "Gemini 9", except I think it is listed as 9A in some sources. But this situation was different - they were killed in the spacecraft and the spacecraft was destroyed. NASA wanted to only call it 204, but people wanted to retain the "Apollo 1" name.This is mainly a semantic thing, I think, because the idea of calling it "Apollo 1" came up before the fire, not after (retroactively). (So much discussion over hust one word!) Bubba73 (talk), 19:40, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
[dropping back some indents]
"Before the fire, it was called "Apollo 1" in a few NASA documents and NASA approved the name Apollo 1". This is the problem - NASA didn't approve the name Apollo 1, as I understand it, they merely tolerated the astronauts calling it that. Then, afterwards, Betty Grissom (and others) campaigned for NASA to change the official name; NASA, always willing to make cosmetic changes for PR, agreed, and it was termed Apollo 1 from then on.
By the way, -204 meant mission #04 on a Saturn IB booster, coded as 2 - the Saturn V flights were coded 5, so things like AS-506. It wasn't tied to the capsule, which in this case was CM-012. Shimgray | talk | 20:23, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
OK, I stand corrected on the 204. I thought that I read NASA documents approving "Apollo 1" on the patch. My concern was that "retroactive" sounds like someone thought of that name after the fire, and that wasn't the case. But NASA did officaally name it that afterwards, so I will go along with "retroactive". I probably have nothing more to say on the subject. Thanks for the good discussion. (I added a couple of photos to the article my wife took when we were there a few weeks ago.) Bubba73 (talk), 20:57, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually the 204 reference should probably be taken out. As Collins points out, the 204 booster was used later. And since the bird didn't fly, strictly speaking, she shouldn't be called "Apollo" anything: it should be the 012 spacecraft fire, or the Pad 39A (oops) Pad 37B fire, or the plugs out test fire. Don't get the idea I don't think they're heroes; if it was up to me, it would be a national holiday. I just don't think a bird that never gets off the ground should be treated like ones that fly. And I think all three of them, test pilots all, would get that. Trekphiler 14:19, 20 December 2006 & 09:46, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Before and After Template

I changed the before and after template on the bottom to better reflect the course of the Apollo program. I believe that the other box looked cluttered and harder to understand. Chuck 22:22, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Investigation and Aftermaths: Reasons, flaws and missing investigations

One could take this text as a base for a page "Apollo 1 Investigation" as follows:

First reason for the deads in Apollo 1 was that there had never been done a test of the Apollo 1 capsule without astronauts. The responsibles said there was "no time" for that. A neutral investigation by police or FBI had not been done because Gilruth blocked all contacts after the accident.

On 12. March 1967 Washington Post reported that before the Apollo 1 fire 20.000 flaws were reported in Apollo 1 project. So the atmosphere for the apollo 1 investigation by the investigation committee was not a "polite" one when the investigation started. A sub committee under the chair of Republican Olin Teague came to Cape Canaveral for hearings. During the hearings representatives of NASA and North American Aviation (NAA) both did not want to be guilty for the fire accident and they argued one against the other. On 21. April 1967 Ex NAA Savety inspector Thomas Ronald Baron presented his 500 page report against NAA to chairman Teague and gave testimony against NAA. As a whole in all hearings about 50% of the flaws reported by Baron were confirmed.

One week after his hearing Baron was deadly hit. Officially it was a railway accident when a train smashed his car. Also his wife and stepdaughter - officially - died "in this railway accident" in the car. The bodies were buried immediately without autopsy, against any Florida law. The short Baron report (57 pages) about the flaws of NAA survived, the big report of 500 pages did not. If Baron and his family died by a murder of CIA or any other or if it really was a railway accident can be speculated. An exhumation and investigation of the bones of Baron and his family could be useful to find the truth but has not been done until now. THis is NOT a conspiracy theory but these are facts and missing facts until now.

Scott Grissom, son of Virgil Grissom, added another aspect. He meant after an inspection of the capsule (in 1999) that a little metal peace in the main switch had provoked a short-circuit, and this short-circuit had provoked the fire in the oxygen atmosphere. But - also when the metal peace is very strange and does not belong to the switch - there were many possibilities for short-circuits in the Apollo 1 capsule and there was smoke in the capsule already before the fire broke out in the capsule. So the little metal peace at the switch does not seem to be essential for the whole fire. The metal peace is only "very strange".

Last investigations say the fire in Apollo 1 could have been provoked in the same manner as the fire in an MD-11 of Swissair wich crashed at Halifax in 1998. So for the fire on Apollo 1 the casing and the electric cables would be one of the main causes - aside the oxygen atmosphere. For the three dead astronauts the main cause is the door which could not be opened and missing First Aid because all believed they already were dead but they did not suddenly. To investigate the dead of the Baron family with an exhumation of the bones would be useful and could reduce speculations. This is NO conspiracy theory, but these are facts and missing proofs.

Michael Palomino 1. September 2006

This is preposterous garbage. "No conspiracy theory"? Mulder ought to be on this one. It's up there with the Pearl Harbor Conspiracy. And I suppose Elvis is still alive & working impersonating himself? Trekphiler 14:28, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Removed warnings section until it's worked on

Astronaut Virgil Grissom always warned that Apollo was technically not as developed as Gemini before. He was not loved for his critical voice because he said in public Apollo was "a basket full of screws". But Grissom was not alone: One of the most important warners that the Apollo project was full of mistakes and risks was also Thomas Ronald Baron, quality control inspector from North American Aviation (NAA). He made a 55 page report, but NAA management refused to follow him. When Baron gave informations about heavy mistakes at ramp 34 to the press he was fired from North American Aviation on 5. January 1967.

Before Apollo 1 there were also about four other accidents with a pure oxygen atmosphere with injured persons and even dead victims at other AFBs and test sites. So all in all the accident of Apollo 1 with the oxygen experiment in the technically not high standarded capsule could be foreseen. But NASA management did not act. In the meantime Baron wrote at home a 500 page compendium about mistakes and risks in the Apollo program. And Grissom (commander of Apollo 1) did not quit what would have been natural in this situation - for any reason we don't know.

The above makes makes unsourced claims, original research, and comes close to a conspiracy theory approach -- apart from being poorly written. I thought it was best to move it here for work and discussion. -- ArglebargleIV 04:03, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Look, when any information which is not in the school book is a conspiracy theory you can really dig your grave before you are born. Michael Palomino, 6th October 2006

Just for fun, lets compare this badly written section above with a well written and FOOTNOTED conspiracy theory reportage below, from the Area 51 article:

Many of the theories concern underground facilities at Groom or at nearby Papoose Lake, and include claims of a transcontinental underground railroad system, a disappearing airstrip (nicknamed the "Cheshire Airstrip", after Lewis Carroll's Cheshire cat) which briefly appears when water is sprayed onto its camouflaged asphalt [1], and engineering based on alien technology. In 1989, Bob Lazar claimed that he had worked at a facility at Papoose Lake (which he called S-4) on such a U.S. Government flying saucer.

One major theory is that Area 51 is a place which simulates the environment of the moon. In 2000-2001, Fox Television broadcast a show about Apollo moon landing hoax accusations, in which it was suggested that the whole moon landing in 1969 was a hoax and was filmed in parts of Area 51.

Others, however, claim that during the mid 1990s, the most secret work previously done at Groom was quietly moved to other facilities, including Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, and that the continued secrecy around Groom is largely a successful attempt at misdirection[2].

See! Footnotes! Sentences that actually make sense and that are grammatically correct! It can be done! WayeMason 00:47, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Well-written & footnoted preposterous garbage is still preposterous garbage. Trekphiler 14:31, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
...there were already worries about the capsule, built with all kinds and sundry exotic and often flammable substances packed in a woefully untested container with miles of electrically live wire into which they pumped pure oxygen, the incident tragically and rather starkly proved it to be a death trap and there's that helpful old saying, don't attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence. The only conspiracy here would likely be the wonted garden variety, aftermath scramble, folks with careers to nurture and families to feed shirking responsibility away from their personal selves whilst simultaneously trying to understand what went wrong so they could fix things, if they still had jobs. Gwen Gale 12:41, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

New chronology of Apollo 1 accident: The dangers were well known before

See the investigation and see what criminal military NASA has committed, and there are really new questions for a new investigation:

This is a chronology with all the facts, and facts cannot conspire. Can you see this, Wikipedia censorship board of school book detectives?

Am I getting repetitive calling it preposterous garbage yet? Jamie Madrox 14:37, 20 December 2006 (UTC) (BTW, can somebody rein in Lee Harvey Nutcase, here?)
It's a lot of documented stuff laced with skeins of unsupported, flailing interpretation. I mean, commenting on the look in FB's eyes? A "fact" which "cannot conspire"? Gwen Gale 12:49, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Environment at capsule rupture

Is information available about the capsule environment such as PSI, partial pressure of various gasses, temperature, etc at time of cabin rupture? Accident reports say telemetry was transmitted until 2 seconds after the rupture event, it also says that the lights were on in the capsule when they finally got the hatch off, suggesting that any local recorders that might have been installed in the space craft could also still be running as there was still electrical power. However, I've never seen any specific figures, only a few comments along the lines of the pressure was "hundreds of times greater" than normal. --G. McVey 02:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

According to the Apollo 1 audio transmission, transcription and timecoding provided by Spacecraft Films, there were indications of crew movement in the cabin at 6:30:38:21, followed at 6:30:54:02 by a voltage transient (surge in AC Bus 2 voltage). The first stage of the fire broke out along the left side cabin wall at 6:30:56:29 with the spacecraft atmospheric pressure measuring 16.4 PSI. Chaffee's first word of "Hey. . ." came at 6:31:04:19 as the atmospheric pressure rose slightly to 16.5 PSI when White reported at 6:31:07:10, "Fire! We've got a fire in the cockpit. . ." The atmospheric pressure rose to 17.0 PSI as the second stage of the fire moved across the cabin. In the time it took Chaffee to report "We have a bad fire. . .We're burning up. . ." from 6:31:17:02 to 6:31:21:01 (four seconds), the cabin pressure jumped from 20.0 PSI to 36.0 PSI -- at which point the spacecraft structure burst as the fire consumed all the oxygen inside the cabin, as all transmission from within the cockpit ended at 6:31:22:20. Barely five seconds later at 6:31:26:05, the third stage of the fire resulted in heavy smoke as all the oxygen was depleted inside the cabin, effectively rendering the crew unconscious. Finally, at 6:31:31:11 -- just 27 seconds from Chaffee's first warning to the end of audio transmission, the Command Module atmosphere was considered lethal to the crew. Hope this clarifies any further questions on the matter. WSpaceport 20:28, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Joseph Francis Shea

It seems odd that this article does not mention Joe Shea at all (Joseph Francis Shea on wikipedia). Lesonyrra 21:52, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Dunno if it's odd, but I've added Joseph Francis Shea to the see also section. Gwen Gale 18:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Why keep the remains of the capsule?

Anyone know the rationale for keeping the capsule once the investigation was complete? Why not just destroy it appropriately? Is this part of some misguided notion that it is "hallowed" ground? --ukexpat 15:14, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

"misguided"? I rather suspect the spacefaring equivalent of burial at sea is impractical. Ferritecore 01:49, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Obviously, UKexpat's European bias is showing. Those who lived through the events of January 27, 1967 would certainly consider it "hallowed ground" as UKexpat calls it. My personal opinion is that AS-204 (Apollo 1) should be put on permanent public display, instead of sweeping it under the carpet so to speak (buried in a deactivated Minuteman silo like Challenger and Columbia were unceremonously done). It should not only serve as an appropriate memorial to the crew, but as a vigilant reminder for general public to remember, as well as an educational tool for the men and women that comprise the contractor teams and the space agency itself.WSpaceport 20:37, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
She should be at the Smithsonian. This is perhaps the only historic aviation/space accident to leave a vehicle intact. If historic aircraft like X-1 & Enola Gay deserve to be on display, so does Apollo 012. Call it evidence of the price of pioneering, & an inspiration to future generations. It's been almost forty years since "one small step" & we're hearing the same stupid garbage about "solving our problems here, first" as in 1969. If we'd only kept on, we wouldn't have some of them. Maybe an exhibit would persuade some people. Trekphiler 21:13, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
I can understand why they hang onto it (there may be a reason to have a look at it for research now and then) but the hitch is, other than folks with living, breathing loved ones having died in that deathtrap, its inner surfaces are coated with the condensed residue of combusted human flesh. Gwen Gale 17:43, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Assertion of scuffing - clarify

I undid this edit because the assertion that this belief "still has currency" is 30 years old and has always been strongly contested (all following the same source), hence, the edit was unsupported by a source. Gwen Gale (talk) 01:03, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

The single line of "The ignition source for the fire was never determined." feels pointless and overly dramatic. I'll just go and edit it out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Egolub (talkcontribs) 02:20, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

It was the finding of the review board, I have added a NASA source. Gwen Gale (talk) 02:28, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
The same review board also had comments such as "There were also several places where pitting of exposed conductors and adjacent structure indicate that an electric arc had occurred." and listed "Vulnerable wiring carrying spacecraft power." as a condition that led to the disaster. I still feel that the sentence as it is placed is needlessly dramatic and would be better rephrased. Egolub (talk) 02:46, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, but the ignition source was never determined. Looking into the McCarthy hypothesis further, I have put a lengthy description of it into a footnote with two sources (NASA and a 1967 Time magazine article): McCarthy was a vice president of North American Aviation, one of the contractors who built the module. His notion was never taken seriously and he almost immediately retracted it. Gwen Gale (talk) 02:47, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

McCarthy's theory - first expressed at Congressional hearings - was loudy rejected by politicians as an attempt by NAA (the contractor of the CSM) to point fingers at one of the dead astronauts. It was considered in poor taste to even mention the possibility. However, it is a valid theory, regardless whether or McCarthy and NAA withdrew it. My source for this information is Angel of Attack, a book about Harrison Storms of NAA. Charles Oppermann (talk) 09:54, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Wrong Translation

"Ad astra per aspera" does not mean, "a rough road leads to the stars." (talk) 21:47, 9 June 2008 (UTC)


I don't intend to start an edit war, but I do wonder if deleting "humorous" is really necessary. If the guys genuinely thought the spacecraft was unsafe, they'd have refused to go, mission or no mission. And I doubt they failed to understand how hazardous the plugs out test could be. IIRC, it's far from the first trial with overpressured pure O2 without incident. Considering the pressure everybody on the program was under, I'd bet that pose was supposed to give everybody a laugh, & I'd also bet it did, until the pad fire... TREKphiler hit me ♠ 20:15, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Do you have a reliable source for that? Gwen Gale (talk) 20:16, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
For refusing? No, beyond what I've read of test pilots; the attitude is cocky, but never stupid. If you crash & burn, you can't tell the engineers what's wrong, & somebody less skilled than you will get killed. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 21:28, 29 July 2008 (UTC) (If you want to know why they think so, msg me.)

Civic and other memorials

Before I boldly remove any content, I thought I'd try for a bit of consensus about removing the solely individual tributes listed in this article and moving them to the articles of the memorialized astronaut in question. Any memorial that honors the mission, the crew as a whole, or all three astronauts in a similar fashion (such as the schools in Huntsville, Alabama) should stay but the honors for any one astronaut by himself should more properly be in that astronaut's article. I'd also add a line of text to the effect, "In addition to several memorials to the individual astronauts, there are a number of tributes to the entire crew of Apollo 1." Thoughts? - Dravecky (talk) 22:00, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Agree. This is the place for flight & crew memorials, not individual ones. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 00:37, 5 September 2008 (UTC)


Does anyone know what would have been done if the mission had gone off as scheduled? I assume it would have been similar to Apollo 7, but I could be wrong. A line or two about the mission profile would be nice. --Idols of Mud 15:24, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Apollo 1 probably would have been a C mission (Shakedown of CSM in low Earth orbit), the mission profile that Apollo 7 eventually fulfilled. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:50, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

This isn't verifiable

Per the article: "the transmission ended abruptly with a scream of pain at 6:31:21."

That "scream" could have been in fear, anger, exertion, or pain, but we don't know for sure. I think it's more appropriate to say simply that "the transmission ended abruptly with a cry at 6:31:21." Otherwise, it smells of editorialization. The relevant editors should consider this. 68Kustom (talk) 07:13, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

This also is confusing.

"It took five minutes to open the hatch, a layered array of three hatches with many ratchets." I know how the Block I hatch worked, and this description confused even me. The layperson isn't going to get it.

How about this: "The hatch, which consisted of three layered components, needed several personnel using the proper tools to remove it. The process took five minutes, by which time the command module fire had gone out."

Feel free to C&P. 68Kustom (talk) 07:21, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Maybe a brief description of the hatch would be better?

"The hatch consisted of 3 layers, an inner airtight "plug door-style" hatch, an outer hatch that served as part of the spacecraft's thermal protection, and an access door in the BPC - a shroud that fits over the command module to protect it from the aerodynamic stresses of launch. All three had to be opened to gain access to the cabin, a process that took 5 minutes by which time the command module fire had gone out." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:12, 14 April 2009 (UTC)


I don't want to start an edit war, so let me offer this for comment. "flammable" got changed to "inflammable". I prefer "flammable" because "inflammable" suggests to me "resistant to flame" (yes, I know they mean the same...). Opinions? TREKphiler hit me ♠ 00:37, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I tend to agree with you. I think "inflammable" is in the process of becoming obsolete for just this reason. I'll have to see whatFowler has to say. Ferritecore (talk) 01:22, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Whatever its worth: an antiques dealer once told me that in- usually meant "not" (invisible, inflexible, etc) while im- usually was for making something more intense (imflammable things were really likely to catch fire). I say usually because there were exceptions like impossible,impractical, and others. Widespread confusion about the subtle in-/im- difference (especially when spoken) plus the sometimes-urgent need to be absolutely clear about this particular word's meaning led to the im- going away in the case of flammable. It became mostly just flammable for things that act like gasoline and inflammable for "it won't burn" ---and later still, the modern non-flammable. (So these days, seeing the word imflammable would indicate that something is pretty old ---hence the antiques dealer's interest in the word.) Anyway, using imflammable in 2009 is sort of like saying doth, brainpan, smote, vouchsafe, or preythee: not actually wrong, but archaic and superseded by words more familiar to current readers. Cramyourspam (talk) 06:23, 19 November 2009 (UTC)CramYourSpam


after the accident it was moved to KSC - wasn't it at KSC for the test? or moved just a short ways? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


The lead section says "Apollo 1 is the official name that was retroactively assigned to the never-flown Apollo/Saturn 204 (AS-204) mission." Since their crew patch said "Apollo 1," is that making a distinction because the spacecraft never flew? If so I would suggest making that clearer or adding a footnote with that distinction explained, since it reads now as though that name was only acquired after the fire. RadioBroadcast (talk) 22:12, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

The crew patch would have been designed & fab'd before the flight, so it could be worn during. Officially, it would only become Apollo 1 after launch; technically, it should be Apollo 012, which was the spacecraft ID, since 204 was the booster, which was reused. As you can tell, this is a bit complicated just to put in the lead... TREKphiler hit me ♠ 03:17, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Then why was the fire investigation called the Apollo 204 Review Board? Google it. SBHarris 07:19, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Read. "Should". NASA doesn't answer to me. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 19:02, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I just posted a major rewrite of the intro to help clear this up.--Tdadamemd (talk) 01:04, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

paragraph removed

I removed this weird paragraph:

Major General Sam Phillips, Director of the Apollo program said: “The message from the crew, notifying of the fire, I think we'll have to play back the tape, as the board gets into action, to have it precisely, but as it was reported from [garbled] and those listening to the loops, was the word ‘fire in the spacecraft’, which was attributed to one of the crewmen.” An investigation showed that sloppy workmanship, poor inspection, and inadequate safety design led to the accident.

It's super-general, and the quote is super-nonspecific, in the middle of a bunch of paragraphs that are specific. Unneeded flab on the article. Comet Tuttle (talk) 06:21, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes. Gwen Gale (talk) 09:04, 27 January 2010 (UTC)


The lawsuit filed against NASA by Betty Grissom, which led to a significant number of embarrassing revelations, is barely mentioned in this article (passing reference in the "aftermath" section). Should there be a subsection about it? --Piledhigheranddeeper (talk) 00:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Mission insignia

The image of the mission insignia is really 'washed out' - the colours of the example at the bottom don't match (no 'yellow', 'gold' to speak of) the copy alongside. There are numerous (free) examples on the web which would be better here. Could someone source a btter image and upload? There's a nice one here:

-- (talk) 23:17, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Apollo 1 Equipment Disposition

While doing research on Apollo 204 (1) earlier this summer, I was able to determine through the assistance of Colin Fries at the NASA History website, that Service Module #012, was damaged in the fire and transferred to the Apollo Applications Program and moved to Rockwell Downey at San Diego, Ca. afterward. It was given a temporary designation of 3RC-1 and used for ground tests and time life studies. It was listed as scrapped as of 5/27 although I believe that this is a typo and was meant to be 5/77. Source JSC-03600 APOLLO/SKYLAB/ASTP AND SHUTTLE-ORBITER MAJOR END ITEMS Final Report dated MARCH 1978.

Per this report, the LES #012 (Launch Escape System), is at the KSC but no further status is listed. Thus:

    SA-204 (including Lunar Module Adapter LMA #012) - Apollo 5
    Command Module #012 - in storage:Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
    Service Module #012 - Transferred to AAP, redesignated 3RC-1, scrapped Rockwell Downey,
                          San Diego, Ca.Scrapped-05/77
    Launch Escape System #012 - Last listed at KSC. Current status unknown.

Ithought that this information might be interesting.Cecrowder (talk) 05:30, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Nice bit of research, and I think worth documenting. For sourcing purposes, a copy of JSC-03600 can be found here. TJRC (talk) 23:06, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

What shock waves?

I have a couple of problems with this unsourced description of the fire:

"Intense heat, dense toxic smoke, malfunctioning gas masks and shock waves and explosions from the cabin hampered the ground crew's rescue efforts."
  1. Nowhere in the NASA documents are "shock waves" or "explosions" (plural) mentioned. There was a single burst as the cabin ruptured and the flames erupted outside, and it is said that some feared that the command module had (or soon would) explode. The only recovery hazards mentioned in the NASA documentation were flames (causing external combustion), dense smoke, and intense heat.
  2. The gas masks were not "malfunctioning", which connotes something broken or not working as intended. The masks were designed for toxic or noxious fumes (e.g. leaking hydrazine or N2O4 thruster propellant), but not to handle dense smoke, thus were ineffective, but that is quite different from malfunctioning. (NASA SP 2409 supports this.) JustinTime55 (talk) 20:23, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Fly me to the moon?

The line about the test flight with an "unmanned LM" leaves the impression the LM was intended to be launched manned. AFAIK, that wasn't the case. I presume it's supposed to mean "not manned-rated" or "not manned-capable". Can somebody who knows clarify it? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 17:40, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

I think I just did; I reworded it a bit to hopefully make it clearer (I'm confused how you're confused.) It was assumed that by that time (late 1967?), the first unmanned LM qualifying flight would have been made, so that the first manned flight in orbit with the LM would launch the LM (probably first, like the Gemini Agenas) on an unmanned Saturn IB, before the astronauts launched. (McDivitt, Scott and Scheikart were supposed to do this, and were actually training while the fire occurred.) That way it could be done without "wasting" a Saturn V in Earth orbit (or waiting for it to be ready), which they ended up doing on Apollo 9 anyway. Of course, even without the fire, this would have been way too optimistic because the LM and Saturn V ran into delays and there would have been a big gap between "Apollo 1" and Apollo (whatever). JustinTime55 (talk) 18:24, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
It is better, thx. And I may have read it less carefully than I should have in the first place. :( I think it's the 2d shot that got me; now, it's more explicit (in my mind, anyhow) there was no prospect of "manned" LMs flying. Also, I wanted this more for those who know little or nothing about the niceties who don't know LMs fly "empty". TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 19:22, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Civic and other memorials

Before I boldly remove any content, I thought I'd try for a bit of consensus about removing the solely individual tributes listed in this article and moving them to the articles of the memorialized astronaut in question. Any memorial that honors the mission, the crew as a whole, or all three astronauts in a similar fashion (such as the schools in Huntsville, Alabama) should stay but the honors for any one astronaut by himself should more properly be in that astronaut's article. I'd also add a line of text to the effect, "In addition to several memorials to the individual astronauts, there are a number of tributes to the entire crew of Apollo 1." Thoughts? - Dravecky (talk) 22:00, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Agree. This is the place for flight & crew memorials, not individual ones. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 00:37, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry to bring back this "Golden Oldie" :-), but the list appears to have gotten quite cluttered again. And I'm sure you'd agree, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, right? The individual articles also seem to duplicate some entire-crew memorials, which should only be here. Just one question: don't we have to follow the move/merge rules? JustinTime55 (talk) 21:18, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Not a "training exercise"

According to citation 37 under New mission naming scheme:

"On April 24, OMSF further instructed the Centers that AS-204 would be officially recorded as Apollo 1, "first manned Apollo Saturn flight - failed on ground test." AS-201, AS-202, and AS-203 would not be renumbered in the "Apollo" series, and the next mission would be Apollo 4."

Training implies learning a new skill; the crew had already learned what they needed to know by this point and were testing the spacecraft in preparation for the first manned flight, as defined by George Mueller. The fact that it failed before they could launch doesn't change this, and the introduction was modified to conform to Mueller's official designation. It was planned to be the first manned mission. Calling it a "training exercise" constitutes original research. JustinTime55 (talk) 15:56, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Latches operated from the exterior?

The article says that there were "many latches" on the inner and outer hatches.

Would it have been impossible for the crew to unlatch these latches on their own (without assistance from ground personnel)? If so, it would explain why they were unable to exit the command module. (talk) 19:11, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree, the description of the hatch seems to be poorly written (esp. the "many latches" phrase.) I think we need to find a better description of exactly how the hatch was designed and operated; I know that some sort of a tool was required, at least from the outside for pad workers (or recovery swimmers) to open it under the normal circumstance. I don't know if Ed White was supposed to use the same type of tool from the inside, or if there was some sort of single handle which undid all latches on the inner piece. In addition to this, there was also an outer hinged hatch which swung outward, and a third piece of the "boost protective cover" which had to be removed.
The main reason White was unable to undo the inner hatch was that it was completely removable (not hinged), and had to be pulled inside the cabin. And that was completely impossible while the cabin was pressurized 2.0 psi above the outside ambient pressure (the cabin pressure was supposed to be dumped first.) And the fire increased the pressure even more, to about 30 psi (slightly more than twice ambient), which burst the walls. This released the pressure to ambient, which would have made it possible to open the hatch, but it was extremely hot, so took about five minutes to open. As soon as the cabin burst, the fire became smoky, and in those five minutes the crew were goners. JustinTime55 (talk) 19:54, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I'd be wary of leaving a false impression the latches made any difference. As JustinTime correctly says, with internal pressure 30psi, & an inward-opening hatch... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 03:30, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Book Citation

The book i refrenced for this article is a very interesting book that has many chapters on different engineering failures. the chapter on Apollo 1 is especially intersting because it goes over in detail the forethought and the background to the mission. unfortunatly it ended in disaster but NASA has made significant changes to their design to maske it so that this kins of thing never happens again. Also this book provides, in detailed description, the times that certain failures happened such as the electrical short at 6:31 pm that was most likely the casue of the fire. (Lucasrutherford (talk) 22:45, 9 February 2012 (UTC))

Another good source of information is an article on the bad public relations that NASA had after the disaster. The article gives some background information regarding the disaster and then goes into much detail on how the crediblity and image of NASA went way down as a result of poor organization in the aftermath of the disaster. Here is the article: Kauffman, J. (1999). Adding fuel to the fire: NASA's crisis communications regarding Apollo 1. Public Relations Review, 25(4), 421. (Lucasrutherford (talk) 16:39, 10 February 2012 (UTC))


Improper, biased use of a source

I am removing this sentence, which seems to be used to imply a fringe theory of a NASA coverup, that the astronauts didn't die on the scene from asphyxiation:

In later lawsuits brought by Gus Grissom's widow Betty Grissom there were claims the astronauts had lived longer than NASA claimed publicly. ref Powell, Dennis E. (November 13, 1988). "Obviously, A Major Malfunction". Miami Herald Sunday magazine.  /ref

The source is being taken out of context. If you read it, you find that Betty Grissom's suit disclosed that the astronauts "struggled in agony for more than a minute," instead of dying "almost instantly" according to the initial, understandably inaccurate report. When I first read the sentence, I (and I am sure other readers) inferred a fringe theory that the astronauts were alive for a significant period. No such fringe theory exists; and while no one would want to go through that one minute of literal hell, it was not covered up by the Thompson Review Board. JustinTime55 (talk) 22:30, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

"No such fringe theory exists" - Actually, it does. Shortly after the fire, Thomas Baron, a company warehouse inspector, told the press that Grissom, White, and Chaffee "struggled to get out of the burning ship for over five minutes". Baron's allegations were, in the end, not taken very seriously, but still, the theory did and does exist. Source: Angle of Attack by Mike Gray, page 244.

Couldn't find a sensible place for this

removed from a section it obviously didn't belong in:

In July 2009, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 first Moon landing, archived notes made by Apollo astronauts Charles Duke and Jack Swigert on the accident investigation and re-design were donated to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, and were digitized and made accessible on the Internet.[3]

Not sure it even matters. Huw Powell (talk) 04:51, 19 February 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ "The Cheshire Airstrip", Tom Mahood, October 1996, retrieved April 2 2006
  2. ^ "Dugway Proving Ground - the new Groom Lake?" Above Top Secret June 23 2004, retrieved April 2 2006
  3. ^ "Apollo 1 Archive at Cosmosphere". Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center. July 8, 2009. 

Lead section

Although I think the lead section is confusing and needs work, I reverted a recent edit as it only added to the confusion, and was factually incorrect. Namely, what is now referred to as Apollo 1 was not a mission at all. Discuss. nagualdesign (talk) 18:37, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Several things are wrong with your revert:
  1. As to your argument, "not a mission at all", that requires original research as to how a "real mission" is defined. Space missions don't just start at liftoff; there is a great deal of expense, training, obtaining hardware and assembling it on a launch pad and configuring it for launch, etc. We haven't yet reached the days where Flash Gordon simply jumps into his rocket and takes off. The mission can be said to exist at least from March 21, 1966, when the crew was named and detailed planning started in earnest. Your edit summary says "Read the section on New Mission Naming Scheme"; did you? I probably wrote most of that section; I definitely added this sentence (with a citation, which I repeated in the summary): "...Mueller, announced this change officially: AS-204 would be recorded as Apollo 1, "first manned Apollo Saturn flight – failed on ground test"." It most definitely was a mission, not to be thrown in the garbage can with the astronaut's dead bodies, just because it failed before takeoff. The article as originally written, focused almost exclusively on the fire with not much of the mission planning, which only helped foster the notion that NASA just recklessly fooling around with oxygen and killed the astronauts in a test. They were quite serious (if short-sighted) at the time about this being the first manned Apollo flight.
  2. That was not the only change I made in that edit; by reverting it you slashed out the other changes without comment or justification. What "factually incorrect" items did I add? Nothing I wrote in the remaining refactored paragraphs is factually incorrect; it is cited in the article. The lead is supposed to summarize the important information in the article. Again, if you have issues with some of it, discuss or improve.
Besides that, what do you find confusing? JustinTime55 (talk) 19:12, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry Justin, you're quite right. Not only had I misread your edit, but I was mistaken in my understanding of the facts. And I certainly didn't mean to sound condescending in my edit summary. (In future I'll check an editor's contributions before I act.)
First of all, when I viewed the diff of your edit from my watchlist, it looked like you'd changed the opening paragraph from describing a mission that never happened to one that did, and that you'd removed a large block of material from the next paragraph. I was also under the false impression that the mission name Apollo 1 was originally intended for a later flight, and that Apollo 7 was considered the first manned mission. I already found the OP confusing (before your edit), as it seemed to conflate the AS-204 'test' with a later planned mission, which would have been Apollo 1. I'm not sure why I thought that, really. I guess I'd misheard or misread something somewhere (outside of Wikipedia). Having now read the whole article I see that my understanding of the facts was quite muddled. Chiefly, AS-204 was always called Apollo 1, and the test was only one part of the mission, which would have included going into space.
I'm still a little confused as to why the astronauts widows felt the need to request the mission be recorded as Apollo 1 if it already had that name. Would they have likely reused the name otherwise? I also got tripped up with this phrasing: "The name Apollo 1, chosen by the crew, was officially retired by NASA in commemoration of them on April 24, 1967." Although I'm not sure what alternative to suggest. And this: "AS-204 would be recorded as Apollo 1, "first manned Apollo Saturn flight – failed on ground test"." Both phrases contributed to my misunderstanding that, until the wives' intervention, AS-204 was not called Apollo 1. I guess having read New mission naming scheme but little else of the article was my downfall. Your later edit of that section certainly helped.
In conclusion, the article is probably fine the way it is, including your edit(s). Sorry for the inconvenience. nagualdesign (talk) 02:59, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
One sort of has to "read between the lines" to get the gist of this from the whole article, which perhaps could do a bit better job of spelling this out. The astronauts themselves came up with the Apollo 1 designation, which they got permission to put on their insignia patch. (Also note the picture of the Command Module delivery package, emblazoned "Apollo One".) This was sort of a morale-building designation among the astonauts and the North American contractors, and had already been reported in the US press. NASA management hadn't yet come to terms with officially setting the policy for serial mission numbers, instead sticking to the "AS-20x" / "AS-50x" system designating the complete space vehicles (rocket plus spacecraft). The NASA and Congressional investigation reports were still officially labeled "AS-204" or "Apollo 204" investigation. The widows' wishes impelled NASA to make the official decision. Thanks for the feedback. JustinTime55 (talk) 14:59, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Static electricity as ignition source?

I recently removed an uncited paragraph (added a long time ago by an infrequent user) talking about "some MIT people" in 1968 studying static discharge between spacesuits and the spacecraft interior. Since there were known electrical wiring problems in the Apollo 204 command module, it seems highly unlikely that static electricity would have caused the fire, and placing this here just implies an alternate, fringe theory. It turns out coincidentally, that NASA did investigate static electricity, and someone recently wrote a new paragraph, citing a 1969 NASA report (which does not mention MIT at all):

In 1969, a static electricity test of the Apollo spacecraft was completed, which measured the approximate energy of static discharges caused by various parts of the craft, as well as the astronauts' nylon flight pressure suits. A series of spark ignition tests was also carried out on various materials. The investigations repeatedly found sufficient energy for ignition was discharged when the craft was in use.[1]

The final italicized sentence was probably copied from what was there previously, but does not properly summarize the results of this NASA study. And I still maintain this doesn't belong here in the context of ignition source, and it's still implying an alternate theory, violating WP:OR. The study may be worth noting somewhere else, but it's totally out of context of the Apollo 1 fire and its investigation in terms of cause. The static study was done in the context of the improved Block II spacecraft. I don't believe that sentence fairly and completely characterizes the findings of the study, which were that static ignition potential existed for combustible vapors but not for paper or cloth, and was easily eliminated by means of grounding. Therefore, it doesn't belong in this section. If you want to put it in the program recovery section (in context, but not recommended), or in the Apollo program or Apollo Command/Service Module pages, that would be acceptable. But as I said, I believe it's WP:OR (or WP:SYNTHESIS?) to leave it here, trying to imply that might have caused the Apollo 1 fire. There is no verifiable support for the idea that this was seriously considered as a cause of the 1967 fire. JustinTime55 (talk) 03:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

In fact, I believe tossing this onto the article constitutes a WP:COATRACK. JustinTime55 (talk) 16:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Static Electricity in the Apollo Spacecraft" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 

External links modified

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Apollo 1. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 19:49, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

GA Review

This review is transcluded from Talk:Apollo 1/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:45, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Okay, I'll take a look and make straightforward copyedits as I go, and jot queries below - I will try to give this a big a shove to FAC as possible: Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 14:45, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for picking this up so quickly. It seemed to me you "bombed" it with cite-needed tags, but I guess it's OK you're being tough if you think it's close to being ready to shoot for FA. JustinTime55 (talk) 16:16, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

Reviewer's notes:

Don't need inline references for uncontroversial sentences in lead
I agree that references shouldn't be needed in the lead as long as they are provided in the body, and have removed all but one of these. The thing is, you never know what some moron will think is controversial. People have objected to calling this the "first manned Apollo mission" because it didn't fly, so I kept this reference. JustinTime55 (talk) 17:57, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
Okay/agreed, keeping that one sounds prudent. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 02:39, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
while the Command Module's hazards were corrected - "addressed" a better word here  Done
Most of the Apollo manned test flight plans section is lacking in inline references  Done
Elsewhere there are scattered bits needing sources, which I have marked with [citation needed] tags.
  • I've filled in all but one of these (tour of pad 34) with citations. JustinTime55 (talk) 20:37, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
The Aldrin book mention should be converted to a ref
The Civic and other memorials needs more sourcing, as does the popular culture section
  • I've cited the first 3 pop culture references. JustinTime55 (talk) 20:37, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Archive 1 of this talk page shows a consensus that the memorials should only apply to the entire crew, or memorials similarly applied to all three, but it's gotten bloated again with uncited, individual memorials. I'm going to move these to the Grissom, White, or Chaffee pages. JustinTime55 (talk) 20:44, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure I see the relevance in the books listed in the Further reading section Moved to Talk page.
I'll continue with the prose once the sourcing sorted (no point copyediting something if the facts need changing or it gets removed)

Second round of reviewer's notes:

Grissom became so frustrated with the inability of the training simulator engineers to keep up with the spacecraft changes, that he took a lemon from a tree by his house - I don't understand the significance of this...
I don't think this is just irrelevant trivia; much has been made of Grissom's comment (as he made it to his wife): "I'm going to hang it on that spacecraft;" commonly, but incorrectly taken to mean that Grissom thought "the spacecraft was a lemon", but the fact is he was upset with the simulator rather than the spacecraft. Do you really want to delete it, or should we try to explain it (possible OR problems)? JustinTime55 (talk) 14:52, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
aaah, point taken. I wasn't pointing out because it was irelevant, only that I couldn't understand the gesture - but now you point out the "lemon" inference it is obvious. The linking of "lemon" with "dud" didn't enter my consciousness while reading it...never mind. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 22:51, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
The Lovell and Kluger reference is unformatted (presumably is Lost Moon so needs isbn etc.)
 Done JustinTime55 (talk) 18:52, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
  • After the fire occurred on board the Apollo 1 capsule NASA delayed .... unnecessarily wordy, i'd be happy with "After the accident NASA delayed.... "
  • The reason for the delay was so .. --> "This was so "
  • Ref needed at the end of the first para of NASA's Response section. Important too here.
No, no, no!!! This was just added by a drive-by IP user. I believe it is highly inflammatory, and non-NPOV the way it's presented here. I've moved it into the Talk page for discussion. (Just the kind of thing I was afraid would happen during a review.) JustinTime55 (talk) 14:52, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Internal acrimony developed between NASA and North American.. - not internal, but maybe simpler as "Relations soured/worsened/deteriroated between NASA and North American...."
 Done JustinTime55 (talk) 18:52, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
On the NASA side, Joseph Shea became unfit for duty in the aftermath and was removed from his position, although not fired - leaves me wanting to know why
OK, I'll look for the details (mental instability) from his article page, provided it's well cited.
Thing is, the comment just sorta sits there and it isn't clear how it's related to Apollo 1 as is, so this is the reason I ask about it. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 15:03, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
The Command Module redesign has only one reference. I presume alot comes from this...?
OK...I'll try to find more specific citations for these details. JustinTime55 (talk) 14:52, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

1. Well written?:

Prose quality:
Manual of Style compliance:

2. Factually accurate and verifiable?:

References to sources:
Citations to reliable sources, where required: just a last few...
No original research:

3. Broad in coverage?:

Major aspects:

4. Reflects a neutral point of view?:

Fair representation without bias:

5. Reasonably stable?

No edit wars, etc. (Vandalism does not count against GA):

6. Illustrated by images, when possible and appropriate?:

Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales: good ol' NASA...
Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:

Look, looks all good apart from a few tags, which I suspect are in stuff you've read already. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 04:48, 28 May 2016 (UTC)

I have been working here and there on this, are there additional citations that are needed, or anything else to complete the review? Thanks! Kees08 (talk) 06:58, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Ok we're there. GA pass Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 08:19, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

Further reading: questionable relevance

The current GA reviewer, Casliber (talk · contribs), says "I'm not sure I see the relevance in the books listed in the Further reading section." I'm inclined to agree:

I'm guessing the Bergaust book was tucked in here to step around the fact it's highly biased (I would say highly toxic), as its title makes clear. Perhaps with care, it could be put into the Political fallout section, if this could be done in a NPOV way without opening another can of worms. I can't speak to the second or third books in the list. JustinTime55 (talk) 20:16, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

Agree. A book with a fringe view and a rebuttal of that view I think could be valuable, if it exists. If it was not notable enough to attract discussion it should be removed. The last one looks generalist and not specific and I think doesn't warrant a place. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 20:59, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

Non-NPOV addition

IP user just added this section, which violates our WP:Neutral point of view policy. It adds WP:Undue weight to a WP:Fringe theory. Please do not re-add it without discussion to reach a WP:Consensus. This occurs at the worst possible time, too, while this article is under Good Article review. Now is not the time to destabilize the article by bogging it down in potential edit wars.

This is not giving any new information not already included in a neutral point of view, which these news stories are spun specifically not to provide. If you want to use this citation to verify in a neutral way that the press distrusted NASA, that would be something different.

Yeah I tend to think it really makes a mountain out of a molehill. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 15:04, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

NASA's Response

After the fire occurred on board the Apollo 1 capsule NASA delayed addressing the public about the disaster for two hours.[1] The reason for the delay was so NASA was able to locate and notify the astronaut's next of kin of the tragedy.[2] Despite NASA's good intentions delaying its address to the public, it inadvertently created a media blackout, leaving the media to wonder what was going on. NASA took too long to address the media, which led multiple news outlets to believe that NASA was hiding something.

When NASA finally did address the media it gave contradictory or even false information. Originally NASA reported that the astronauts died immediately, were in their seats, and said nothing before they died.[3] However, four days after the Apollo 1 fire, the New York Times and the Washington Star challenged all of these ideas. The papers stated the astronauts lived for at least fifteen seconds after the fire began, that two of the astronauts had left their seats and attempted to exit the capsule, and pointed out that audio tapes from the capsule proved the astronauts cried for help before they eventually perished.[4] Julian Scheer, NASA's Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, claimed that the people at Cape Kennedy had the tape and had originally failed to inform him or NASA's Administrator James E. Webb "of the existence of a tape recording of the last seconds of communication with the Astronauts until sometime after the first NASA statement to the press."[5]


  1. ^ James Kauffman, "Adding Fuel to the Fire: NASA's Crisis Communications Regarding Apollo 1," Public Relations Review, 25, 5, (Winter 1999), Science Direct,
  2. ^ James Kauffman, "Adding Fuel to the Fire: NASA's Crisis Communications Regarding Apollo 1," Public Relations Review, 25, 5, (Winter 1999), Science Direct,
  3. ^ James Kauffman, "Adding Fuel to the Fire: NASA's Crisis Communications Regarding Apollo 1," Public Relations Review, 25, 5, (Winter 1999), Science Direct,
  4. ^ John Noble Wilford, "3 Astronauts' Tape Ended With 'Get Us Out of Here!" New York Times, (January 31, 1967), 1.; "Reporters Say Spacemen Did Not Die Instantly," Washington Star, (January 31, 1967), A3.
  5. ^ "Notes on Seminar Discourse of Mr. Julian Scheer, July 26, 1967," Dr. Eugene E. Emme, Johnson Space Center History Archive, Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Box 068, 1.