ESD to Blame for Sinking of Astronaut Grissom’s Spacecraft

Charles Murray, Technical Editor of Design News writes “Even casual observers of US space history know the unfortunate story of Gus Grissom. He’s the astronaut who accidently blew the hatch off the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft, causing it to fill with seawater and sink into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean in 1961.”

Grissom maintained he did not panic and blow the hatch, though a cloud of doubt always hung above his claim. (It certainly was evident in the movie “The Right Stuff”).

Well, new evidence suggests that the real culprit was in fact electrostatic discharge, or ESD.

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