In spring 2000, U.S. Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner directed
NASA to determine the origin of a small piece of metal that had been
discovered by Scott Grissom, the son of Apollo 1 commander Virgil
"Gus" Grissom. The younger Mr. Grissom maintains this metal piece had
been used as a jumper to create a short circuit behind a control
panel, deliberately sabotaging the Apollo 1 spacecraft and causing the
tragic fire that took the life of his father and astronauts Roger
Chaffee and Ed White.
Throughout the summer and into the fall of 2000, NASA researched
the original investigation conducted in 1967 and made two trips to
Langley Research Center where the disassembled Apollo 1 spacecraft is
stored. They were able to determine that the piece had been cut from
a bracket that once supported one of the panels in the spacecraft's
main display console, and that it had been done after the fire.
Below is a scan of the report written by William C. Hill of NASA,
summarizing their investigation.
Daniel Maxson offers a searchable MS Word document version of this report
along with the referenced photographs.
1/204 Photographs (General)
Apollo 1/204 Photographs (Bracket)
The results of the investigation were conveyed to
Rep. Sensenbrenner in this
letter (Adobe PDF, 1.5 MB).