Forty-two years ago today...the AS-204 (renamed after the disaster to Apollo One
) tragedy happened.
For those not in the know: During the 'plugs-out' test (the first test with all of the supply connections to the ground removed - rather like taking the training wheels off a bike), there was a spark behind a console on the spacecraft. Because the air was super-saturated with oxygen, the resulting fire spread out of control, and all three astronauts - Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee - were killed. Not from the fire itself, but from the smoke. Smoke inhalation is, I believe, more instantly lethal than fire...
Now I wasn't alive when this happened, but for those of you who were, how did you find out? What was your reaction?