KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (January 11, 2007) – On Saturday, January 27, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., The Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF) will conduct a ceremony to honor the crew of Apollo 1 on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 1 accident. The Astronauts Memorial Foundation honors and memorializes all astronauts who have sacrificed their lives for the nation and the space program.
The public ceremony will be held at the Space Mirror Memorial at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Speakers will include Lowell Grissom, brother of the late Lt. Col. Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, selected as commander of the first Apollo flight at the time of his death; Faith Freeman Johnson, daughter of the late Theodore Freeman, killed in the T-38 jet training accident at Ellington Air Force Base; Capt. John Young, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle astronaut; Col. Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot on Apollo 7; Kathy Brandon, winner of the 2006 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award; William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations; Bill Parsons, Kennedy Space Center Director; and William Potter, AMF Chairman of the Board. The Astronauts Memorial Foundation's President, Dr. Stephen Feldman, will lead the service.
The public is invited to attend the service. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will provide flowers for all ceremony guests and visitors throughout the day to place at the memorial. For more information, call 321-449-4444 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
Tragedy struck the Apollo program on January 27, 1967 when a flash fire occurred in the command module 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 Roger B. Chaffee, an astronaut preparing for his first space flight, died in this tragic accident. The AS-204 mission was redesignated Apollo I in honor of the crew.
The Astronauts Memorial Foundation, a private, not-for-profit organization, built and maintains the Space Mirror Memorial, which was dedicated in 1991 to honor all astronauts who lost their lives on missions or during training and has since been designated a National Memorial by Congress, and the Center for Space Education, a living memorial to the astronauts. For more information, call 321-452-2887 or visit www.astronautsmemorialfoundation.org.