Sunday, January 27, 2013
My own entry into the aerospace business was in 1965, working for Chrysler on the Saturn 1B program. Many of my co-workers had come to Florida from Hamtramck, Michigan and received a bonus "swamp pay" for working in such an uncivilized place as Florida! Those were fun days, and Barbree captures the spirit in his book. But the fun stopped and the spirit changed on January 27, 1967. I was sitting with co-workers in the legendary Mousetrap, THE watering hole of the day, when we got word of the Apollo 1 fire that occurred during a Countdown Demonstration Test (aka "plugs out" test) and the deaths of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee.
So starting today, we have three sad anniversaries in six days. These were remarkable pioneers and adventurers. I'm glad the book arrived when it did, as it has given me a small insight into the real people in these pictures. R.I.P.
(Photos courtesy of NASA)