Apollo 1 Astronaut Roger Chaffee

Roger B. Chaffee


Astronaut Roger Chaffee was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on February 15th, 1935. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University in 1957 before entering the Navy soon after. While there, he served as safety officer and quality control officer for Heavy Photographic Squadron 62 at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.

Chaffee was one of the astronauts selected by NASA in October of 1963. In addition to participating in the overall training program, he also worked on flight control communications systems, instrumentation systems, and attitude and translation control systems in the Apollo Branch of the Astronaut office. On March 21st, 1966, he was selected as one of the pilots for the Apollo 1 mission, the first 3-man Apollo flight.

Lieutenant Commander Chaffee tragically died on January 27th, 1967, in a cockpit flash fire during a launch pad test at Kennedy Space Center for the Apollo 1 mission. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.