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Nation IN BRIEF : FLORIDA

Astronaut's Widow Blasts NASA Probe

May 09, 1997|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Betty Grissom said her resignation from the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame governing board resulted from 30 years of frustration over the launch pad fire that killed her husband and two other Apollo 1 crewmen. At the heart of the issue was the board's decision not to induct Roger Chaffee, the junior member of that crew, because the January 1967 onboard fire killed him before he actually flew in space. "This might be the last straw," said Grissom, widow of space pioneer Virgil "Gus" Grissom. Grissom said NASA's investigation of the Apollo 1 fire was "a cover-up from the beginning," led by many of the same astronauts now honored in the Hall.

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