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Apollo Command Module 204 in final disassembly at the Pyrotechnics Installation Building at the Kennedy Space Center, photograph, ca. 1967

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), created by Congress in 1958, compared the burned-out remains of Apollo-Saturn 204 with Command Module 014, a sister ship, to determine the cause of the fire. A NASA report photo showed the damaged module’s components separated for examination.

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

Apollo Command Module 204 in final disassembly at the Pyrotechnics Installation Building at the Kennedy Space Center, photograph, ca. 1967

Apollo 204 and the Phillips Report

America’s manned lunar spaceflight program suffered a tragedy on January 27, 1967, when the Apollo-Saturn 204 (later named Apollo 1) command module burst into flames during a pre-launch test, killing its crew. While the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) internally reviewed the fatal accident, both houses of Congress launched independent investigations. A Senate hearing uncovered a 1965 report by Apollo Program Director Major General Samuel Phillips that revealed problems NASA had not previously disclosed. The discovery of the Phillips Report led to more stringent congressional oversight of NASA.

I think the key question is whether we are going to be limited to information which NASA wants us to have or whether we will be provided with the critical information such as the Phillips report

Senator Walter Mondale of Minnesota, Apollo Accident, May 9, 1967