Lost were Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom (one of the original 7 Mercury Astronauts), Edward H. White II (the first American to perform a space walk), and Roger B. Chaffee (on his first NASA mission) were lost when a first broke out in the pure oxygen atmosphere of the command module during a "plugs-out" test of the craft on the launch pad.
All three men were dead within 30 seconds of asphyxiation and severe burns.
|Grissom, White and Chaffee|
The accident led to many changes in the construction and design of the Apollo Command Module, and the sacrifice, however undeniably tragic, helped in making future Apollo missions safer.
Whatever your belief, God bless the first men who gave their lives for what I consider mankind's greatest achievement. Who willingly risked all so that man might leave Earth, and stand upon the moon.