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Published on: Monday, July 8, 2024 read more ...

Apollo 1 Monument

Section 3 

Dedicated on June 2, 2022, the Apollo 1 Monument commemorates the crew of the first Apollo mission. Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee died on January 27, 1967, when a fire swept through the command module during a pre-launch test. The Apollo 1 mission, scheduled to launch on February 21, 1967, would have been the first human-crewed Apollo flight.  

Approved in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the monument was sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the Challenger Center. It received support from members of Congress, NASA (whose administrator, Bill Nelson, attended the dedication), the astronauts’ families and the aerospace community. At the dedication, AIA’s president and CEO stated, “Our success in space is a tribute to Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. Their sacrifice paved the way for the achievements of America’s space program.”

As requested by the astronauts’ families, the granite monument features a Latin inscription, “Ad Astra per Aspera,” which translates to, "A rough road leads to the stars." Its location in Section 3 is a short walk from the Challenger and Columbia Memorials, which honor the crews of the two space shuttles. 

Apollo 1 astronauts Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee also have individual gravesites in Section 3. Ed White is buried at West Point Cemetery in West Point, New York.