9 Bits of Irony


Gus Grissom

Virgil "Gus" Grissom was America's second astronaut in space aboard the capsule Liberty Bell 7. After landing in the Atlantic, a hatch on the capsule opened prematurely, and Grissom nearly drowned before being rescued by helicopter. To prevent this from happening again, Grissom recommended to NASA designers that the hatch on the three-man Apollo capsule be made more difficult to open. Ironically, while testing the Apollo capsule before its first flight, Grissom was killed in a fire along with fellow astronauts Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee when the new hatch proved too difficult to open.