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Ill-Fated Apollo 1 Capsule Moved to New Site

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By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Apollo 1 capsule, the focus of one of the most deadly accidents in the history of the space program, was moved yesterday by NASA from its original Virginia storage site.

Forty years ago, three astronauts were killed when fire engulfed their spacecraft at Cape Canaveral, Fla., during a launchpad test.

The fire killed Lt. Col. Virgil I. Grissom, Lt. Col. Edward H. White and Lt. Cmdr. Roger B. Chaffee. It was one of the major setbacks experienced in the Apollo program on the way to the first successful moon landing, and it prompted many design and procedural changes.

The board that investigated the Jan. 27, 1967, fire directed that the capsule be kept at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

Unlike a variety of other historic spacecraft, it has never been on public view and was kept in a secure storage container. However, the container was deteriorating, NASA said.

The capsule, the conical command module, was moved 90 feet to a newer environmentally controlled warehouse at the center, NASA said.


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