Today, humanity has already learned a lot about the mystery of the universe. Successful space explorations have led to discoveries of the cosmos.
In previous decades, mankind was able to send many spacecraft and satellites into space. Agencies such as NASA have successfully sent humans into orbit around the Earth, and even walked on the moon.
But before mankind experienced the success it is currently enjoying in space exploration, there were many failures. In this article, let’s explore unforgettable spaceflight accidents and disasters.
(Photo: NASA via Getty Images)
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1. Apollo 1 accident
Probably, one of the accidents in space exploration that is etched in history forever is the Apollo 1 accident. This fatal accident in the history of American spaceflight happened on January 27, 1967 It happened during preparations for the first manned space mission of the Apollo space program, according to History.
During a simulated launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, a flash fire broke out in the Apollo 204 command module. The accident killed astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White and Roger Heated by asphyxiation.
2. Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986. The disaster is considered one of the most devastating in the history of space exploration, according to Britannica.
All the astronauts on board are dead, including civilian Christa McAuliffe who is working on NASA’s Teacher in Space project. McAuliffe was supposed to teach and conduct experiments in space.
Due to the disaster, the space shuttle program was temporarily suspended. The Rogers Commission was also created to identify cause and fault for the disaster.
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3. Soyuz 1 accident
The Soyuz 1 accident happened just three months after the Apollo 1 fire on April 24, 1967. The accident happened when Soyuz 1, the first Soviet spacecraft designed to reach the moon, s crashed to Earth, killing Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov.
At the time of the mission, Soyuz 1 was still in the experimental stage. The problems in the spacecraft began as soon as it entered orbit.
As the team aborted the mission, it experienced a difficult re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere and the parachutes failed to deploy properly, resulting in a violent crash.
4. Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster
One of the most traumatic accidents in space exploration was the disintegration of the space shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003.
A large piece of foam, which is made to absorb and insulate the shuttle’s fuel tank, fell on the shuttle’s left wing and created a hole.
When the Columbia attempted to re-enter after the mission, gas and smoke passed through the port wing through the hole. The wing eventually detaches and the rest of the shuttle disintegrates, according to Britannica.
The entire crew consisted of six American astronauts, and the first Israeli astronaut died in the accident. NASA’s space shuttle program was again put on hold due to the disaster.
5. Soyuz 11 disaster
Due to the space race between the United States and Russia, the Russians established the world’s first space station, Salyut-1, in April 1971. They sent three cosmonauts aboard Soyuz 11.
The supposedly successful mission turned into a tragedy when the ground crew opened the hatch which returned to Earth. Much to everyone’s horror, the three cosmonauts do not respond.
What happened was that the cabin was depressurized and the cosmonauts, who weren’t wearing spacesuits, suffocated to death.
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