Gus Grissom’s Words Still Ring True
A memorial to fallen astronauts left on the Moon by Dave Scott and James Irwin during Apollo 15. It honors 14 astronauts who had died by that time and remains as a reminder of the astronauts aboard Challenger, Columbia, and others who have lost their lives during space exploration and training. Courtesy NASA.
Space exploration has its calendar of successes…and failures. Late January and early February each year mark the sad anniversaries of three major U.S. space missions that ended tragically with loss of astronaut lives. They commemorate the loss of the crew in the Apollo 1 fire on January 27, 1967, the Challenger mishap and seven lives lost on January 28, 1986, and the breakup of Columbia upon reentry and the loss of astronauts on February 1, 2002. Each one taught NASA tough lessons and forever proved Gus Grissom’s prophetic words right: “If we die, we want people to accept it,” he said. “We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.”
His words came true not very long after he ...