Martha Horn Chaffee is the widow of Roger Chaffee, who is one of the astronauts honored by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. Roger Chaffee was selected to fly on Apollo 1 and lost his life in a flash fire during a simulated condition to the scheduled launch.
Martha Horn was a student in Purdue University’s radio and television program when she met Roger Chaffee. He was majoring in aeronautical engineering and she was homecoming queen. They married in August of 1957 and have two children, Sheryl and Stephen. Mrs. Chaffee worked as a mother and homemaker to support her husband’s career. Roger Chaffee’s selection to be among the third group of astronauts had to be kept secret until the official announcement was made by NASA. For Martha, this was the hardest secret she ever kept.
Mrs. Chaffee continued to raise their children and remained involved in the space industry after the Apollo 1 accident. Subsequently, she opened a travel agency and purchased a small horse ranch.