APOLLO 1 CREW.
Color photolithograph, 7 x 9½ inches on 8 x 10 inch sheet, printed caption below.
SIGNED by the crew: ED WHITE, GUS GRISSOM, and ROGER CHAFFEE.
The first manned Apollo mission, officially known as AS-204, was originally scheduled for the fourth quarter of 1966, but was pushed back because of technical difficulties. On March 21 of 1966, NASA had announced that Grissom, White and Chaffee would fly the first manned mission. This crew photograph was taken around that date, and is captioned "Apollo Crew ... Prime Crew for NASA's First Manned Apollo Flight."
February 21, 1967 was eventually settled on as the launch date. On January 27, the crew were performing tests inside the CSM on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center. A fire broke out, spread rapidly in the 100% oxygen atmosphere inside the craft, and all three crew members perished before support staff were able to get them out. Twenty months would pass after the tragedy before the next manned Apollo flight took place.
Very few complete crew-signed Apollo 1 prints exist. Those that do appear on the market are usually signed across the astronauts' chests; in the present example, the signatures are over their heads, and more striking.
Auction terms and conditions