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Gus Grissom
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Astronaut
    (April 3, 1926-January 27, 1967)
    Birth name was Virgil Ivan Grissom
    Second American to travel into space
    One of NASA's original Mercury 7 astronauts
    First man to travel in space twice
    Died during a test mission along with Ed White and Roger Chaffee in the Apollo 1 fire at Cape Kennedy, Florida
    Awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor (posthumously)
    Purdue University named Grissom Hall in his honor
    Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana named after him
    Portrayed by Fred Ward in the 1983 movie 'The Right Stuff'
    He admittedly 'drifted' through high school, excelling only in math.
    By astronaut standards he was short (5'5).
    During a mission the hatch door of his 'Liberty Bell 7' capsule mysteriously blew off after splashdown, causing it to fill with water (July 21, 1961).
    Some blamed him for 'bumping the wrong button' that caused the mishap which led to the sinking of the capsule.
    Though the test mission was successful, he was bummed because in his words he'd, 'flown a perfect flight but came back without the spacecraft.'
    The news media was all over him for the mishap.
    He hated the press to begin with, whose stoic delivery of details earned him the nicknames 'Gloomy Gus' and 'The Great Stone Face.'
    After his nickname for his next capsule, 'Titanic,' was vetoed by NASA, he came up with a compromise name, 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown.'
    He earned his mechanical engineering degree at Purdue University (1950).
    He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force and fought in the Korean War.
    He nearly drowned in the 'Liberty Bell 7' mishap.
    As an emergency replacement for Alan B. Shepard, who was grounded due to nausea and dizziness, his Gemini 3 mission with Lieutenant John W. Young in the 'Molly Brown' was a huge success (March 23, 1965).
    He was given a ticker tape parade and met with President Johnson.
    The Apollo 1 disaster was due in part to NASA rushing to keep on schedule. NASA disregarding serious safety issues so they could stay 'one step ahead of the Soviets' in the space race.
    After the Gemini 3 mission he quoted about his chosen profession: 'If we die, we want people to accept it. We're in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.'

Credit: Scar Tactics


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