Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee in front of the launch pad, 1967. The three astronauts stand in front of the launch pad before the tragic events of the Apollo 1 mission.

Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee in front of the launch pad, 1967. The three astronauts stand in front of the launch pad before the tragic events of the Apollo 1 mission.

Virgil Ivan Grissom, better known as Gus Grissom, was one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts and a United States Air Force pilot. He was the second American to fly in space, and the first member of the NASA Astronaut Corps to fly in space twice. Grissom was killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission. He was the first of the Mercury Seven to die.

Virgil Ivan Grissom, better known as Gus Grissom, was one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts and a United States Air Force pilot. He was the second American to fly in space, and the first member of the NASA Astronaut Corps to fly in space twice. Grissom was killed along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission. He was the first of the Mercury Seven to die.

Mercury Spacecraft, designed and built by McDonnell, St. Louis for NASA. Signed by the six astronauts who flew in the Mercury program: Alan B Shepard, Gus Grissom, J H Glenn, Jr., Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra and Gordon Cooper.

Mercury Spacecraft, designed and built by McDonnell, St. Louis for NASA. Signed by the six astronauts who flew in the Mercury program: Alan B Shepard, Gus Grissom, J H Glenn, Jr., Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra and Gordon Cooper.

Gravestones of Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Roger Chaffee, as seen at Arlington National Cemetery. (J.L. Pickering/Retro Space Images)

Gravestones of Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Roger Chaffee, as seen at Arlington National Cemetery. (J.L. Pickering/Retro Space Images)

Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom    "If we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life." - Gus Grissom, after the Gemini 3 mission, March 1965    Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom (April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967) was a United States Air Force pilot and one of the original Mercury 7 NASA astronauts.  He was the second American to fly in space He died in the Apollo 1…

Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom "If we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life." - Gus Grissom, after the Gemini 3 mission, March 1965 Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom (April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967) was a United States Air Force pilot and one of the original Mercury 7 NASA astronauts. He was the second American to fly in space He died in the Apollo 1…

Remembering Apollo 1 January 27, 2012: marks the 45th anniversary of the tragic fire that killed the 3 crew members of Apollo 1. Apollo 1's crew, consisting of Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White II and Roger B. Chaffee, died when a fire broke out in their capsule during a “plugs-out” test. The mission, was redesignated Apollo I in honor of the crew. This photo shows the astronauts in training: (L to R) Roger Chaffee, Ed White and Gus Grissom

Remembering Apollo 1 January 27, 2012: marks the 45th anniversary of the tragic fire that killed the 3 crew members of Apollo 1. Apollo 1's crew, consisting of Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White II and Roger B. Chaffee, died when a fire broke out in their capsule during a “plugs-out” test. The mission, was redesignated Apollo I in honor of the crew. This photo shows the astronauts in training: (L to R) Roger Chaffee, Ed White and Gus Grissom

April 12, 1965 ... Gemini 3 astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young meet with Astros manager Luman Harris. Image source: Beaumont Enterprise.

April 12, 1965 ... Gemini 3 astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young meet with Astros manager Luman Harris. Image source: Beaumont Enterprise.

Gus Grissom signing Purdue University Big Bass Drum during 'Gus Grissom Day' in Mitchell, Indiana on June 16, 1962.

Gus Grissom signing Purdue University Big Bass Drum during 'Gus Grissom Day' in Mitchell, Indiana on June 16, 1962.

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