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Memorandum from James J. Gehrig, February 14, 1967

James J. Gehrig, staff director of the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, informed the committee of an off-the-record telephone conversation with ABC news reporter Jules Bergman. Bergman urged the committee to read a 1965 report by Apollo Program Director Major General Samuel Phillips documenting the Apollo project’s timeline and budget issues with contractor North American Aviation.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

Memorandum from James J. Gehrig, February 14, 1967 Memorandum from James J. Gehrig, February 14, 1967 (with excerpt highlighted)

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