Arlington, Va. and Washington DC (June 3, 2022) – On Thursday, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and Challenger Center hosted a dedication ceremony for a new monument to honor Apollo 1 Astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White, and Roger B. Chaffee at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). The special event included family members of the fallen Apollo 1 astronauts, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning, Challenger Center President and CEO Lance Bush, and members of the space community.
“It was an honor to be with the Apollo 1 families and members of the space community for this special occasion. Our success in space is a tribute to Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. Their sacrifice paved the way for the achievements of America’s space program,” said Eric Fanning, President and CEO of AIA. “An Apollo 1 monument at Arlington National Cemetery has been a long-time interest among the space community and this special ceremony served as a reminder of the sacrifices astronauts and their families have made in our pursuit of the new frontier of space.”
While the remains of White are interred at West Point Cemetery, the remains of Grissom and Chaffee are interred at ANC. AIA and Challenger Center, with support from the Apollo 1 families, NASA, and the space industry, worked together to create a permanent memorial at ANC. The monument was fully funded with private donations, with contributions from Aerojet Rocketdyne, Aerospace Corporation, Boeing, Leidos, L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, Marotta Controls, and Northrop Grumman. The commemorative Apollo 1 monument rests next to Grissom and Chaffee’s tombstones, honoring and memorializing the Apollo 1 crew.
“The dedication of the new Apollo 1 memorial marks another moment where we come together to remember the heroes of the space industry,” said Lance Bush, President and CEO of Challenger Center. “The new monument ensures that the public recognizes the Apollo 1 crew as integral to the success of the Apollo program and the continued exploration of space for the benefit of humanity.”
The Apollo 1 mission was to be the first human-crewed flight of Apollo and was scheduled to launch on February 21, 1967. Grissom, White, and Chaffee lost their lives when a fire swept through the command module during a test on January 27, 1967.