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Today in history:January 27

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发表于 2016-7-9 23:20:18 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  January 27
          Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee, pose in front of launch pad
34
          1967: Three astronauts die in Apollo 1 tragedy
          England have
          Three American astronauts died when fire swept the Saturn rocket on its
launch pad at Cape Kennedy.
          The space crew, flight commander Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger
Chaffee, were taking part in a rehearsal for the launch of the first Apollo
mission.
          It is thought an electrical spark started the fire which spread quickly in
the oxygen-filled atmosphere of the capsule, killing the crew within
seconds.
          Navy Lieutenant Commander Chaffee, aged 31, had never flown in space
before. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Grissom, 39, was the first American to make
two flights. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel White, 35, made America"s first space
walk.
          It is feared the disaster on launch pad 34 could delay America"s plans to
put a man on the moon by as much as a year.
          The three men were in the command module, mounted on the rocket as if ready
for launch, but the Saturn was not loaded with fuel.
          At 1831 hours one of the astronauts was heard to say, "Fire, I smell
fire."
          Two seconds later, another astronaut, probably Lt Col White said, "Fire in
the cockpit."
          The fire spread through the cabin rapidly. The last communication from the
crew was heard just 17 seconds later.
          The pressurised atmosphere inside the capsule meant the astronauts would
not have had time to open the hatch.
          Under ideal conditions, the process takes about 90 seconds. It involves
venting the cabin to relieve the interior pressure which helps hold the door
closed.
          It took technicians on the outside about five minutes after the fire had
started to open the hatch.
          There will be a full investigation into what caused the fire, but already
questions are being asked about whether safety corners were cut in the race to
be first to the moon.
          The astronauts knew there were risks involved. Lt Col Grissom became the
second American in space in the Liberty Bell 7. On splashdown, the space capsule
filled with water and sank and he almost drowned.
          A few weeks before the launch pad tragedy, he wrote: "There will be risks,
as there are in any experimental programme, and sooner or later, we"re going to
run head-on into the law of averages and lose somebody.
          "I hope this never happens, and... perhaps it never will, but if it does, I
hope the American people won"t think it"s too high a price to pay for our space
programme."
          The Apollo mission"s maiden flight was due to blast off into space on 21
February.
          Michael Jackson suffered serious burns to his scalp in the freak
accident
          1984: Michael Jackson burned in Pepsi ad
          Artificially 1969:
          The Michael Jackson has received hospital treatment for serious burns to
his head after his hair caught light during a freak filming accident.
          The 25-year-old entertainer was singing his hit "Billie Jean" for a Pepsi
Cola commercial in Los Angeles when the special effects went wrong.
          Three thousand fans saw a firework display erupt behind the superstar,
showering him in sparks and setting light to his hair.
          Some studio audience members said he was so calm, they thought the incident
was part of the act.
          The singer is reported to have covered his burning hair with his jacket as
his brothers and stage hands rushed to help.
          One member of the audience, Virginia Watson, witnessed the accident.
          "He was wonderful. He reassured people even as he was being taken away on a
stretcher ", she said.
          Michael Jackson was taken to hospital where he was treated for second
degree burns.
          Plastic surgeon Steven Hoeffin said Jackson, who was voted America"s
entertainer of the year, could need surgery to his head.
          "He is in discomfort", said the doctor. "It will take a few weeks to
determine the hair loss."
          The superstar is earning a reputed ?m for the series of Pepsi Cola adverts
which also feature his four famous brothers. It is part of a huge sponsorship
deal the singer agreed last year.
          The multimillionaire"s album "Thriller" has just entered the Guinness book
of records as the best selling LP of all time.
          Vocabulary:
          stretcher : a litter for transporting people who are ill or wounded or
dead(担架)
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