Gus Grissom's Widow Has Harsh Words For NASA

Betty Grissom: Space Programs Are Wasteful

NASA'S future plans were viewed with skepticism by the widow of one of Indiana's most famous space figures.

The wife of Virgil "Gus" Grissom said NASA has wasted large amounts of money and accomplished little since the early days of the manned space program, 6News' Norman Cox reported.

Visitors to the Gus Grissom Memorial at Spring Mill State Park went on a personally guided tour from Grissom's widow, Betty, 83, on Thursday.

Betty Grissom, who now lives in Houston, laid a wreath in memory of her husband, who hails from Mitchell and was killed when his Apollo rocket exploded in Jan. 1967.

It was 50 years ago when Gus Grissom became the second American in space, riding a suborbital flight aboard the Mercury capsule, Liberty Bell 7, which sank in the Atlantic.

Grissom was barely rescued.

"It doesn't seem like 50 years to me," Betty Grissom said. "I was kind of shocked whenever somebody mentioned that it was going to be his 50th anniversary.'"

Grissom said she believes NASA programs are wasteful.

"I have never considered the space shuttle much of a space program," Grissom said. "I did not approve of them going back to the moon for the second time, which I guess that's what got canceled. I think it should have been canceled. If, you know, you go and spend all that money and then did nothing but brought back those moon rocks."

Grissom said she believes much of the money that has gone into the space program should be rerouted into solving problems faced by people here on Earth.