Space travel

The 5 worst disasters in space

5. Soyuz 1

The cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was the first space traveler to perish. He came into orbit on April 23, 1967, and immediately got into trouble.

A solar panel that had to supply half of the required electricity on board the vessel did not expand. Komarov struck and kicked the hull to lend a hand, but that didn't help.

The command center on Earth decided to launch the Soyuz 2 with three cosmonauts on board to help him, but the weather stopped that.

Komarov returned with the bit of power he still had. In the atmosphere he unfolded the parachute that was supposed to slow down the descent, but it too refused service. To make matters worse, the emergency parachute became entangled in the main parachute.

Cursing and raging, Komarov threw his death to death.

4. Soyuz 11

For more than three weeks the cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolski, Viktor Patsayev and Vladislav Volkov were aboard the Russian space station Salyut 1. On June 30, 1971 it was time to return with their Soyuz 11 spacecraft.

The landing apparently went according to plan, but when a salvage team reached the vessel and opened the hatch, it found the three cosmonauts dead. They had dark blue spots on their skin and blood was dripping from their nose and ears.

Research showed that an air valve had jumped. All the oxygen on board had disappeared into space, and the cosmonauts were the first - and so far only - victims of the vacuum of space.

The three Russians died at a height of 168 kilometers, making them the only people who died in space.

3. Soyuz 18a

There were no deaths during this Russian mission, but the scenario could have been made up in Hollywood.

On April 5, 1975, cosmonauts Vasili Lazarev and Oleg Makarov set sail for space, but less than five minutes after launch, the vessel suddenly began to sink rapidly.

The cosmonauts were exposed to 21.3 g, but managed to stay alert and unfold the parachute that was intended for landing. That gave them a soft landing, but the misery was not over yet.

They had landed on a mountainside, and the capsule began to slide into a 150-meter deep ravine. The men seemed to die. At the last minute, however, a miracle happened: the unfolded parachute caught on a tree, causing the vessel to stop just before the edge of the abyss.

2. Columbia

For two weeks the seven astronauts aboard the space shuttle Columbia had been orbiting the Earth, and on February 1, 2003 it was time to return home.

But the astronauts would never come home again: 16 minutes before the planned arrival, the space shuttle was pulverized in the atmosphere. The astronauts were killed instantly, and 85,000 debris have been found in western Texas.

The accident was caused because a piece of insulating foam had come loose during the launch and damaged a heat shield. The space shuttle was therefore not resistant to the heat and went up in flames in front of the camera.

1. Challenger

73 seconds after launch, the Challenger space shuttle exploded into a huge fireball. All seven astronauts on board died - but not as a result of the explosion.

The cause of the explosion on January 28, 1986 was a rubber sealing ring - a so-called O-ring - that did not function properly. As a result, the fire from the launchers reached the fuel tank, which exploded.

Less than a month and a half after the accident, the crew module was found at a depth of 30 meters in the sea. The astronauts were still in the oars, and forensic investigations revealed that they were not killed instantly.

They had survived the explosion, but were then exposed to a very strong drop in pressure, which was probably fatal before the 200 g module hit the water.

Video: Top 10 Saddest Space Flight Disasters (November 2019).

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