Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

"If we die, we want people to accept it."

Overview

Gus has been part of the U.S. manned space program since it began in 1959. He has been selected as one of NASA's Original Seven Mercury Astronauts and he flew in Gemini III which made him the first man ever to fly twice in space. Grissom piloted the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft- the second and final mercury test flight. Grissom was also named to serve as command pilot for the AS-204 mission, the first 3-man Apollo flight.

Biography

Virgil Ivan Grissom was born on April 3, 1926, in Mitchell, Indiana. He graduated from Mitchell High School and he got a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Gus married his wife, Betty Moore, in 1945. He also had two sons named Scott and Mark. Unfortunately, Gus died due to a flash fire during a NASA launch pad test on January 27, 1967. He was one of the seven Mercury astronauts selected by NASA in April 1959. He piloted the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft on July 21, 1961. This flight lasted a total of 15 minutes and 37 seconds. Grissom also served as command pilot on the first maned Gemini flight on March 23, 1965. Gus was also named to serve as command pilot for the AS-204 mission, the first 3-man Apollo flight.

Significance

The Gemini mission that Gus was a command pilot in, was the first manned Gemini flight, the first lifting reentry of a manned spacecraft, and the crew accomplished the first orbital trajectory modifications. Grissom also piloted the Liberty Bell 7, which was the second and final suborbital Mercury test flight.