Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Apollo 1, the first crewed mission of the Apollo programme planned to land the first American on the Moon, became one of the most horrific space race disasters in which three astronauts were burnt alive after a fire erupted in the cockpit of the spacecraft.
Now an audio of the last moments of the burning spacemen — shrieking at the top of their lungs as fire tore through their spacesuits and consumed their agonising cries for help, which came too late — has gone viral on social media.
on January 27, 1967, the fire in the cockpit of Apollo 1 resulted in the blood-curdling deaths of three Nasa astronauts, Virgil I. 'Gus' Grissom, Edward H. White, and Roger B. Chaffee.
The astronauts were simulating a countdown when the fire started at Cape Kennedy followed by frantic attempts made by the crew to open the hatch and escape, but they quickly perished as a result of the toxic vapours in the cockpit.
According to reports, Grissom had little faith in the ship and thought the design was shoddy and risky.
It is believed that he is also accused of ordering his crew to pose for a mocking portrait in which they are shown bowing down in prayer seconds before the accident.
The master alarm on Apollo 1 allegedly went out several times due to the high oxygen flow signal before the unthinkable occurred and the capsule caught fire, The Mirror reported.
The horrifying audio of the tragedy has recently resurfaced and features Chaffee screaming "fire, fire" just before all mayhem broke out.
Chaffee goes on to shout: "We’ve got a fire in the cockpit. Let’s get out. We’re burning up." His panicked words were followed by screams of agony as their bodies turned to ashes after being engulfed by flames.
The hatch on Apollo 1 is believed to have caught fire beneath a seat, and since it was so tightly sealed and airtight, White was unable to open it in time to free the astronauts.
Later, in a statement, Nasa said: "At 6:31pm, a flash fire broke out inside the cabin. The astronauts, in vain, attempted to open the inner hatch, while the pad crew valiantly worked to open the outer two hatches, their attempts hampered by dense smoke and heat. By the time they opened the hatches, the crew had already perished."