Command Module 012
Cape Canaveral, Pad 34, January 27, 1967
Grissom smelled sour buttermilk in the cabin
34 square feet of Velcro, flammable in high-pressure, high-oxygen air
A silver-plated copper wire stripped of its Teflon insulation
A pure oxygen atmosphere at 16.7 psi
A momentary increase in AC Bus 2 voltage
Craters on the moon and hills on Mars
named Grissom, White, Chaffee
M.C. Childs poems have been published in multiple venues from Abyss & Apex to Typehouse (He is still working on getting all the way to Z), and has won awards from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association. He is also the author of award-winning design books including Foresight and Design, The Zeon Files, Squares, and Urban Composition.
Backstory: A cabin fire on Apollo 1 killed Command Pilot Gus Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee. I was a child then but clearly remember the day. As NASA is working to return to the Moon (finally), I thought it important to pay respects.
As a practical joke, the crew had named three guide stars used to determine position in space, as their names spelled backward (e.g. Regor for Roger). These names continued to be used by Apollo crews.
Reading transcripts of Apollo communications, I was struck by how the most important things often were not said – just the facts and humor.
Editor’s Notes/Image Credit: Apollo Crew image [NASA]
See also https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apollo1info.html
https://history.nasa.gov/as204_senate_956.pdf [APOLLO 204 ACCIDENT:
REPORT No. 956 COMMITTEE ON AERONAUTICAL AND SPACE SCIENCES
UNITED STATES SENATE]