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6 Most Famous Space Disasters

New technological discoveries have been accompanied by human sacrifice

Today, scientists are searching for new celestial bodies and determining whether there is life on Mars and other planets. The basis of all this was the previous cosmic discoveries and numerous failures. Recall the six space disasters/catastrophes that claimed the lives of many people.

1. NASA Multiple Space Shuttle Challenger

NASA Multiple Space Shuttle Challenger
NASA Multiple Space Shuttle Challenger

Number of killed: 7

Year: 1986

Country: United States

The NASA spacecraft made nine successful voyages into space, but the tenth attempt was fatal.

Although the launch of the spacecraft was delayed by 2 hours on January 28 due to the morning inspection, despite the shortcomings found, the viewers of the show were still optimistic.

73 seconds after takeoff, the shuttle exploded due to damage to the solid fuel accelerator. Seven crew members were killed, as it turned out later, some of them survived the blast, but died due to falling from a great height.

2. Shuttle “Columbia”

Shuttle "Columbia"
Shuttle “Columbia”

Number of victims: 7

Year: 2003

Country: United States

On February 1, 2003, after a 16-day successful flight, the crew discussed the issue of landing the ship in Florida. It was the 28th flight of the spacecraft and according to research, everything was going according to plan.

Minutes before the scheduled landing, the technical team discovered an abnormal temperature change in the left wing of the shuttle, suddenly cutting off communication with other crew members as well.

According to an employee of the Space Flight Control Center, the monitors recorded at this time, “how the shuttle disintegrated into a lot of small parts of space.” All seven astronauts were instantly killed.

The Columbia shuttle was the first operating orbital device. It was built in 1979 and transferred to the Kennedy Space Center at NASA. The shuttle takes its name from the sailing ship on which Captain Robert Gray explored the inland waters of British Columbia (now the United States – Washington and Oregon) in May 1792.

3. “Soyuz-1”



Number of dead: 1

Year: 1967

Country: Soviet Union

The death of Vladimir Komarov, a pilot-astronaut in the history of Soviet cosmonautics, is still considered to be the greatest tragic event.

The flight with Komarov “Soyuz-1” was carried out completely with technical problems, it concerned both the start and the end of the flight.

Twenty-four hours after the flight, Komarov was ordered to return. Despite the failure of several important parts of the system, Komarov was able to access, but for unexplained reasons, not a single parachute of the capsule was opened and he, along with the astronaut, hit the Earth at a speed of 150 km / h.

4. Explosion of R-16 rocket in Baikonur

According to unconfirmed reports, the incident claimed the lives of 78 to 126 people.

Year: 1960

Country: Soviet Union

On October 24, 1960, tests on the R-16 rocket were conducted at the Baikonur space station. Due to numerous technical problems, Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin was offered a postponement. Marshall, who completely trusted the tests conducted and who observed the preparation of the zero mark, still had no intention of delaying the start. Thirty minutes before the start, the final preparation was announced, and suddenly, at the facility, an unauthorized start of the second engine occurred, the resulting fire damaging the fuel tank.

The fire was so strong that rescue services could not start the fire for several more hours.

The tragedy, which occurred half a year before Gagarin flew into space, claimed the lives of both Marshal Nedelin and 78 Soviet citizens, including high-ranking military personnel.

5. Explosion at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome

A total of 48 people were killed

Year: 1980

Country: Soviet Union

On March 18, 1980, a few minutes before the launch of the spacecraft Vostok-2M, an explosion occurred.

After filling the fuel tanks on the rocket, it was supplied with nitrogen and liquid oxygen, which resulted in the explosion of 300 tons of fuel and a large-scale catastrophe.

The reason was the human factor – it is possible that a mistake was made when the rocket was filled with liquid oxygen. As for the victims, 44 people died on the spot and 30 people escaped death.

6. Disaster at the Alcantara Cosmodrome

Number of killed: 21

Year: 2003

Country: Brazil

Brazil joined the space odyssey back in 1960. However, the construction of the spacecraft and their testing took some time, and this time passed rather slowly. On August 22, 2003, while the spacecraft VLS-1 was finally being tested, 3 days before the launch, it exploded.

Interestingly, for unknown reasons, the engine of one of the rocket blocks was activated, causing the neighboring engines to explode. The tragedy claimed the lives of 21 people.

It is also important that the Brazilians tried for the third time to launch this “Avismot” rocket into space.

Studies have shown that the cause of the engine start was an electronic discharge, although in the end they still could not figure out what caused the electrical discharge itself – a switched on cell phone, or simply negligence.


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