These Are The 5 Worst Space Accidents In The History Of Mankind

by Shatakshi Gupta

Space journey is something that fascinates everyone. However, when we watch any space mission,we always pray for its success as many missions got failed in history and turned into big accidents. Even the scientists and trained astronauts, who have been exploring space for years have lost their lives during space journeys. Here, we are telling about 5 such disastrous incidents of space.

Soyuz 1:

In 1967, there was a race going on between Western countries and the Soviet Union to reach space first.  Then came the event of 50 years of the Soviet Revolution.  Russia launched Soyuz 1 with Vladimir Komarev.

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An astronaut has written about the incident in a book that Russia launched the mission without much preparation. The mission took off with several technical flaws in it. As a result, the spacecraft crashed in space and was destroyed. While falling, Komarov’s parachute did not open and he died in the incident. This incident shook the astronauts around the world. It is also called the first major accident of space travel.

Apollo 1:

 Mission was planned to launch on February 21, 1967, as the first low Earth orbital test. Its trial was underway when contact with the passenger control room on the vehicle was lost. Meanwhile, COM was leaking in the cockpit. Then it appeared on the TV monitor that people inside were trying to open the door of the vehicle. But like the airbag opens when there is an accident in the car. Similarly, the airbag kept the door of the vehicle pressed. People trapped inside were seen clamouring to open the door. They were trying to open bolts in turn. But the pressure of oxygen was increasing. After a while, it became so much that it was impossible to open the door. Due to oxygen inside, the fire spread rapidly and everything was burnt in an instant. Everyone who was on trial inside was killed.

Soyuz 11:

In 1971, 4 years after the Soyuz 1 crash, Russia sent Soyuz 11 into space with 3 astronauts or cosmonauts Viktor Petsyev, VladislavVolkov and Georgy. They were to reach Russia’s first space station, Salyut 1. However, this time old mistakes were not repeated and the mission was launched after complete preparation. Consequently,  the vehicle landed perfectly on the space station. But during the reentry of the vehicle, the pressure system of the capsule got failed, which caused asphyxiation. The cause of death for the cosmonauts was hemorrhaging of the blood vessels due to exposure toa vacuum environment. On opening the hatch, they found all three men in their couches, motionless, with dark-blue patches on their faces and trails of blood from their noses and ears.

NASA’s Shuttle Challenger:

 After two traumatic accidents, Russia’s space projects came to a standstill.  But about 17 years later, on January 28, 1986, the whole world was shaken by the condition of the Space Shuttle Challenger, the spacecraft of the American Space Agency, NASA. It was such a catastrophe that the 7 Astronauts who were bloated with joy while leaving the earth 73 seconds ago, were killed in a huge blast barely a minute later. The very next moment of launch the vehicle’s O-rings stopped working that were not designed to handle the unusually cold conditions that existed at this launch and it exploded into pieces. Its fragments were not even traced.

Space shuttle Columbia:

On February 1, 2003, exactly 17 years after the accident of NASA’s Shuttle Challenger, the whole world was very excited, especially India. Kalpana Chawla, an Indian-origin girl, was about to complete her journey to space. The Columbia Space Shuttle was returning to Earth, but the heat-blocking tiles on the shuttle’s left wing were torn off. When the shuttle entered the Earth’s atmosphere, it could not sustain the heat. All the 7 astronauts sitting in the vehicle, including Kalpana Chawla, came to know 41 seconds before their death that their vehicle had lost control. The cockpit door did not open and everything was completely destroyed.