NASA moved the Apollo 1 capsule and related materials about 90 feet to a newer, environmentally-controlled warehouse at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., on Saturday, Feb. 17. The move provides better protection for the spacecraft.
Despite routine repairs made throughout the years, the original secure storage container where the vehicle was housed has been deteriorating. NASA officials determined that, due to its age, the container could not be maintained effectively to preserve the capsule.
Astronauts Lt. Col. Virgil I. Grissom, Lt. Col. Edward H. White, and Roger B. Chaffee died when a flash fire swept through the spacecraft during a launch pad test at Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Jan. 27, 1967. Originally known as the AS-204 mission, it was renamed Apollo 1 in honor of the crew.
As directed by the Apollo 204 Review Board, the capsule has been maintained at Langley. The review board's accident report made recommendations that led to design and engineering changes and increased the overall safety for future Apollo missions and six successful lunar landings.