Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Today is the 42nd anniversary of the Apollo 1 tragedy that claimed the lives of Virgil "Gus" Ivan Grissom, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Edward Higgins White, II, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF and Roger Bruce Chaffee, Lieutenant Commander, USN
The crew of Apollo 1 was performing launchpad tests when tragedy struck; a spark from the electronics ignited the 100% oxygen environment in the capsule, the crew could not get out and died of smoke inhalation within minutes.
While this tragedy set the space program back slightly, it did not stop NASA from winning the race to the moon, and on July 20th, 1969 Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Neal Armstrong landed on the surface of the Moon while Michael Collins stayed in orbit.
Other than this tragedy that led up to the first Moon landing, it is also worth noting the "Moon landing hoax" conspiracy. I only mention it as a segue into this video of a 70 year old Buzz Aldrin knocking a guy on his ass! The guy talking smack and taking the punch is the ringleader of the conspiracy nuts (I refuse to name him, he doesn't deserve the fame.) The guy calls Buzz a coward, a liar, and a thief, then POW! Down he goes. While I certainly don't condone violence, including punching reporters, I applaud Buzz for this one. Buzz IS an American hero and deserves to be treated like one.