Apollo 1 Disaster….
January 27, 1967….
An electrical fire erupts during a simulation on the launch pad, killing astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Edward White. They were the first U.S. astronauts to die in a spacecraft.
The ignition source of the fire was determined to be electrical, and the fire spread rapidly due to combustible nylon material, and the high pressure, pure oxygen cabin atmosphere. Rescue was prevented by the plug door hatch, which could not be opened against the internal pressure of the cabin.
White was the first American to walk in space (1965). Grissom was one of the seven original Mercury astronauts (1959) and the first astronaut to go into space twice. Chaffee served as capsule communicator (CAPCOM) for the Gemini 3 and Gemini 4 missions and served as the third-ranking pilot on Apollo 1.
January 28, 1986….
The space shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after lift-off, killing the crew of seven, including New Hampshire schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. McAuliffe and Judith A. Resnik were the first U.S. women astronauts to die on a space mission. NASA managers had known since 1977 that the design of the solid rocket boosters contained a potentially catastrophic flaw in the o-rings and also disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching in low temperatures. The main concern was that the o-rings would lose their elasticity in cold temperatures and not be able to form a seal. It was unusually cold that day with morning temperatures at 30 °F (−1 °C). The o-rings failed to seal causing the catastrophic explosion of the shuttle.
Baseball Hall of Fame….
January 29, 1936…..
Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson are selected as the first inductees.