Virgil "Gus" Grissom became the second man in space July 21, 1961, when he took off in the Mercury-Redstone 4 spacecraft named Liberty Bell 7. The flight lasted just over 15 minutes and went without problem until splashdown. The hatch cover which was to be blown open in case of an emergency, accidentally blew off. Grissom almost drowned but was rescued. The Liberty Bell 7 sank and was recovered in 1999.
Grissom passed away January 27, 1967 when a fire broke out on Apollo 1 during a pre-launch test.