Honoring astronauts Gus Grisson, Ed White II and Roger Chaffee, NASA describes the exhibit as "part museum, part memorial and part family scrapbook". Full of modifications that let the hatch open in five seconds in an emergency, the redesigned hatch is displayed as a symbol of all the improvements made throughout the Apollo spacecraft and NASA itself that would set the agency on a successful course to land 12 men on the moon.
"It's really important that we come together and we don't forget who they were and what they sacrificed".
"Although the fire took place across the river on Launch Pad 34, their story didn't end there and their legacy lives on today", said Sheryl Chaffee, daughter of Roger Chaffee. "To those in my generation who watched as these folks pushed that envelope and ultimately got us to the moon, that is why I am here, [and] that is why most of the people of my generation are here".
A mockup of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.
The hatch is now at display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
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On January 27th, 1967, three NASA astronauts-Roger Chaffee, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, and Ed White-perished in a fire that erupted in the Apollo 1 command module during a preflight test. "A Rough Road Leads to the Stars", features artifacts never displayed before, including three hatches from the Apollo 1 command module where the passengers Saturday.
NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot addresses guests at Kennedy Space Center's Day of Remembrance.
NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston held a commemoration for employees at the Astronaut Memorial Grove to honor Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews, followed by astronaut Edgar Mitchell's memorial tree planting ceremony on Tuesday.
Two of the total three that passed away in the Apollo 1 have their graves there.
One of NASA's original seven astronauts, Grissom flew on the second US piloted space flight, Mercury-Redstone 4, in July 1961, and led the first crewed mission on the space agency's two-seat spacecraft, Gemini 3, in March 1965.