27, 1967, tragedy struck the Apollo program when a flash fire
occurred in Command Module 012 during a launch pad test of the
Apollo/Saturn space vehicle being prepared for the first piloted
flight, the AS-204 mission. Three astronauts, Lt. Col. Virgil
I. Grissom, a veteran of Mercury and Gemini missions; Lt. Col.
Edward H. White, the astronaut who had performed the first United
States extravehicular activity during the Gemini program; and
Lt. Cmdr. Roger B. Chaffee, an astronaut preparing for his first
space flight, died in this tragic accident.
submitted to the NASA Administrator in April 1967 presented the
results of the investigation and made specific recommendations
that led to major modifications and revisions to the Apollo Command
Module. With these changes, the overall safety of the Command
and Service module and the Lunar Module was increased substantially.
The AS-204 mission was redesignated Apollo I in honor of the crew.