Press Release

NASA Honors Apollo Astronaut Roger Chaffee

By SpaceRef Editor
October 5, 2007
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – NASA will honor the late astronaut Naval Lt. Cmdr. Roger B. Chaffee with the presentation of an Ambassador of Exploration Award for his involvement in the U.S. space program. Chaffee’s wife Martha will accept the award Saturday, Oct. 6, and present it for display at Purdue University during the halftime show of the Purdue – Ohio State football game.

NASA is giving the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the first generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs for realizing America’s vision of going to the moon. NASA also is recognizing several other key individuals who played significant roles in the early space programs.

The award is a moon rock encased in Lucite and mounted for public display as inspiration to a new generation of explorers who will help us return humans to the moon and eventually on to Mars and beyond. The award is part of the 842 pounds of samples collected during the six Apollo lunar expeditions from 1969 to 1972.

Chaffee received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue in 1957. He was one of the third group of astronaut candidates selected October 1963. In March 1966, he was chosen as a crew member for the first Apollo flight. Chaffee died on January 27, 1967, in the Apollo 1 spacecraft fire during a launch pad test at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. For complete biographical information about Chaffee, visit:

To attend crew arrival, reporters must pick up badges by 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at the Pass and Identification Building on State Road 3.

For information about NASA and its programs, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.