Space Cover #447: An End to a Tragic 1967
Just over fifty years ago, the space exploration community was reeling from yet a third tragic accident for 1967. The year started with the crew of Apollo 204 dying in a launch pad fire in January. In April the Soviet space program suffered a landing accident with Soyuz 1. Then on November 15, 1967, even the tried-and-true X-15 program suffered a loss.
The cover above was postmarked on November 15, 1967 at Edwards, carries the Boy Scout rubber stamped X-15 cachet, and a typed notation documenting test pilot Mike Adams' fatal crash. Adams' career, astronaut wings, and fatal accident was well covered by fellow SCOTW contributor Stevedd841 in SCOTW 118. Below is the (sparse) coverage of the accident in the newspapers the next day.
The site of Adams' crash is now a memorial.
As horrible as 1967 was, the space exploration world rebounded swiftly with the first manned flights of Apollo, resumption of Soyuz flights, and the resumption of X-15 flights in 1968.