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Terrifying audio resurfaces from inside the space capsule during the Apollo 1 disaster

Britt Jones

| Last updated 

Terrifying audio resurfaces from inside the space capsule during the Apollo 1 disaster

There are few disasters that have audio recordings still available to this day that are able to terrify listeners around the world.

But what happened during the Apollo 1 mission will forever be engraved in our minds.

On Friday 27 January 1967, a tragedy was to occur for three men who had dreams of reaching the stars.

But these astronauts, Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee would never make it due to human error.


The men were Apollo 1’s crew part of Earth-orbital testing, which placed the astronauts into a vaulted chamber to simulate the pressure of a take-off.

Though it was to all go up in flames one day during a normal run-through because of NASA’s mandate to have only pure oxygen in the Apollo capsule.

This meant that the usual oxygen/nitrogen mix was not to be used and though it was easier to concoct pure oxygen, it was extremely dangerous due to the high flammability.



There were quite a few problems with the ship previously, and it was alleged that Grissom had little faith in the ship and considered the design sloppy and unsafe.

Just before the disaster, he would have his crew take a mocking portrait which showed them bowing in prayer.

Then, it was time to board the capsule.

Allegedly, the high oxygen flow indicator repeatedly triggered Apollo 1’s master alarm, but then the unthinkable happened.


The capsule caught fire and the crew were tragically taken.

Now, the audio of that moment has circulated around X again, and the recording is still painful to hear for many.

What can be heard is Chaffee shouting ‘fire’ before all hell broke loose.

“We’ve got a fire in the cockpit,” Chaffee shouted.


“Let’s get out. We’re burning up.”

The crew went up in flames. Credit: X / @Morbidful
The crew went up in flames. Credit: X / @Morbidful

Then, there were screams of agony as they were overtaken by the flames.

It was thought that the Apollo 1 caught fire underneath a seat, and due to the hatch being air-tight and sealed so heavily, White was unable to open it in time to let the astronauts out.


This flash fire would go down in NASA’s history, forcing change upon how they fill the capsule.

Instead of a pure oxygen mix, they went on to use a 60/40 oxygen/nitrogen mix and all flammable materials were removed.

They also changed the hatch to be a new single-piece hatch so that it could be sprung open in seconds.

Featured Image Credit: Heritage Space/Heritage Images/MPI/Getty Images

Topics: NASA, News, Space, History

Britt Jones
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