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.

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July 21 – Mercury program: Gus Grissom, piloting the Mercury-Redstone 4 capsule Liberty Bell 7, becomes the second American to go into space (sub-orbital). Upon splashdown, the hatch prematurely opens, and the capsule sinks (it is recovered in 1999).

July 21 – Mercury program: Gus Grissom, piloting the Mercury-Redstone 4 capsule Liberty Bell 7, becomes the second American to go into space (sub-orbital). Upon splashdown, the hatch prematurely opens, and the capsule sinks (it is recovered in 1999).

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.

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Virgil Ivan Grissom (April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967), (Lt Col, USAF), 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 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Virgil Ivan Grissom (April 3, 1926 – January 27, 1967), (Lt Col, USAF), 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 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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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…

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NASA Day of Remembrance Martha Chaffee widow of Roger Chaffee Sheryl Chaffee daughter and Roger Purvenas son of Sheryl Chaffee left along with acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot right place wreaths at the graves of Apollo 1 crewmembers Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Roger Chaffee as part of NASA's Day of Remembrance Tuesday Jan. 31 2017. January 31 2017

NASA Day of Remembrance Martha Chaffee widow of Roger Chaffee Sheryl Chaffee daughter and Roger Purvenas son of Sheryl Chaffee left along with acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot right place wreaths at the graves of Apollo 1 crewmembers Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Roger Chaffee as part of NASA's Day of Remembrance Tuesday Jan. 31 2017. January 31 2017

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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