Press Releases | 6.3.2022
Challenger Center and AIA Dedicate Apollo 1 Monument at Arlington National Cemetery
Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Va (June 3, 2022) – On Thursday, Challenger Center and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) hosted a dedication ceremony for a new monument to honor Apollo 1 Astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White, and Roger B. Chaffee at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC). The special event included family members of the fallen Apollo 1 astronauts, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning, Challenger Center President and CEO Lance Bush, and members of the space community.
“It was an honor to be with the Apollo 1 families and members of the space community for this special occasion. Our success in space is a tribute to Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. Their sacrifice paved the way for the achievements of America’s space program,” said Eric Fanning, President and CEO of AIA. “An Apollo 1 monument at Arlington National Cemetery has been a long-time interest among the space community and this special ceremony served as a reminder of the sacrifices astronauts and their families have made in our pursuit of the new frontier of space.”
While the remains of White are interred at West Point Cemetery, the remains of Grissom and Chaffee are interred at ANC. Challenger Center and AIA, with support from the Apollo 1 families and the space industry, worked together to create a permanent memorial at ANC. The commemorative Apollo 1 monument rests next to Grissom and Chaffee’s tombstones, honoring and memorializing the Apollo 1 crew.
“The dedication of the new Apollo 1 memorial marks another moment where we come together to remember the heroes of the space industry,” said Lance Bush, President and CEO of Challenger Center. “The new monument ensures that the public recognizes the Apollo 1 crew as integral to the success of the Apollo program and the continued exploration of space for the benefit of humanity.”
The Apollo 1 mission was to be the first human-crewed flight of Apollo and was scheduled to launch on February 21, 1967. Grissom, White, and Chaffee lost their lives when a fire swept through the command module during a test on January 27, 1967.
About Challenger Center
As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Challenger Center provides more than 250,000 students annually with experiential education programs that engage students in hands-on learning opportunities. These programs, delivered in Challenger Learning Centers and classrooms, strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields. Challenger Center was created by the Challenger families to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51-L. For more information about Challenger Center, please visit www.challenger.org or connect on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
For more than 100 years, the American aerospace and defense industries have shaped the world around us in countless ways with immeasurable impact. The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) has been that voice since 1919. Our work as an advocate and convener is essential to shaping policy, shedding light on the industry’s impact and empowering its future.
Together, we advocate for effective federal investments; accelerated deployment of innovative technologies; policies that enhance our global competitiveness; and recruitment and retention efforts that support a capable and diverse 21st-century workforce.
Sara Espinosa, Director of Communications, Challenger Center