Space Exploration Disasters in Chronological Order

Bob Hubbard

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Space Exploration Disasters in Chronological Order
Space Exploration began in 1957 - this list (from Reuters) details all the various disasters up to today.

October 1960 -- Ninety-one people are killed when an R-16 rocket explodes at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan in the Soviet Union.

January 1967 -- Three U.S. astronauts -- Virgil Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Edward White -- die in a "flash fire" aboard Apollo 1 during a simulated launch at Cape Canaveral.

April 1967 -- Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov is first man to die in a space mission when a parachute on his spaceship fails on re-entry and the ship crashes to Earth.

June 1971 -- Three Soviet cosmonauts die during re-entry after 24 days in an orbiting space laboratory, a record endurance flight at that time.

March 18, 1980 -- Fifty technicians die at Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome when a Vostok booster explodes while being fueled. The incident is reported only in 1989.

January 28, 1986 -- Seven U.S. astronauts including a schoolteacher die aboard the Challenger space shuttle 72 seconds after lift-off from Cape Canaveral.

April 18, 1986 -- A Titan missile believed to be carrying a military satellite explodes shortly after launch from the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site in California.

May 3, 1986 -- A Delta rocket carrying a $57 million weather satellite explodes shortly after lift-off from Cape Canaveral.

February 22, 1990 -- Western Europe's 36th Ariane rocket, carrying two Japanese satellites, explodes less than two minutes after lift-off from Kourou, French Guiana.

September 7, 1990 -- Part of a U.S. Titan rocket falls from a crane and explodes at Edwards Air Force Base, sending flames 150 feet into the air and killing at least one person.

June 18, 1991 -- A 46-foot (15-meter) Prospector rocket carrying 10 science experiments for the U.S. space agency and several universities is destroyed after veering off course after launch from Cape Canaveral.

August 2, 1993 -- A Titan 4 rocket believed to be carrying an expensive military spy satellite explodes after lift-off from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

December 1, 1994 -- Western Europe's 70th Ariane rocket crashes into the Atlantic with the $150 million PanAmsat-3 telecoms satellite after launch from Kourou, French Guiana.

January 26, 1995 -- The Chinese-designed Long March 2E rocket carrying a telecommunications satellite explodes after blast-off from Xichang in southwest Sichuan province.

October 23, 1995 -- An unmanned Conestoga rocket whose satellite contains 14 scientific experiments explodes 45 seconds after blast-off from a NASA facility in Virginia.

February 15, 1996 -- A rocket carrying an Intelsat 708 communications satellite explodes soon after take-off from China's launch site in Xichang.

May 20, 1996 -- A Soyuz-U booster rocket carrying reconnaissance satellites explodes 49 seconds after lift-off from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome.

June 4, 1996 -- Europe's Ariane-5 rocket explodes 40 seconds into its maiden flight after blasting off from the European Space Agency launch center in Kourou, French Guiana.

June 20, 1996 -- A Soyuz-U rocket carrying reconnaissance satellites explodes after lift-off at Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

May 20, 1997 -- A Russian Zenit-2 booster rocket carrying a Cosmos military satellite explodes 48 seconds after launch.

August 12, 1998 -- The U.S. Titan rocket program is put on hold when a Titan 4A explodes soon after lift-off in one of history's most expensive space disasters. The cost of the rocket and its spy satellite cargo was put at more than $1 billion.

August 27, 1998 -- A Delta 3 rocket carrying a U.S. communications satellite bursts into a $225 million fireball, soon after blast-off from Cape Canaveral on its maiden flight.

September 10, 1998 -- A computer malfunction brings down a Ukrainian rocket carrying 12 commercial satellites, minutes after blast off from Baikonur.

July 5, 1999 -- A Russian Proton-K heavy booster rocket launched from Baikonur suffers a malfunction that detaches the engine and parts of the booster, causing them to crash onto the steppe. A 200-kg (440-lb) chunk falls into the courtyard of a private house. Kazakhstan briefly closes Baikonur in a row with Russia over clean-up costs and rent for the base.

September 23, 1999 -- NASA's $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft breaks up as it enters the Martian atmosphere due to confusion among its constructors between metric and old English measuring units.

October 28, 1999 -- A Russian Proton rocket carrying a communications satellite crashes shortly after take-off from Baikonur.

December 3, 1999 -- NASA's Mars Polar lander loses contact with earth after reaching the Red Planet. The $165 million mission is a write-off.

August 15, 2002 -- NASA's $159 million Contour space probe, launched on July 3 and designed to chase comets, breaks up on leaving Earth's atmosphere.

December 11, 2002 -- An upgraded European Space Agency Ariane-5 rocket explodes soon after blast-off from Kourou, French Guiana, sending two satellites worth about $600 million plunging into the Atlantic Ocean.

February 1, 2003 -- The space shuttle Columbia, carrying seven astronauts including the first from Israel, breaks up over Texas on re-entering atmosphere at end of 16-day flight.




I found the above over at E-Budo. Very interesting read on just what the space programs have cost us in both $ and lives.

:asian:
 
K

Kirk

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Very interesting.

It should be noted, however, that a post discussing the positive
aspects of space exploration would take up your entire server's
disk space.
 
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Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard

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I was curious about this, and thankfully someone had already put it together. By my tally, about 163 people have died in the last 46 years. Compare that with how many accutal manned missions there were. From the US alone there have been over 100 manned missions with over 379 crew.

I wasn't able to locate any detailed information on the Soviet missions.

Out of 100+ manned missions, the US has lost only -3- crews.

Compared to the old days of ocean exploration, and the old 'wild west', the odds are much better heading into space than it was to head out to sea.

In any case, my hat is off to those brave individuals who brave the dark and whose hearts and spirits are filled with the courage and desire to push back the limits of humanity.

:asian:

(source - http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/100th.html)
 
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Bob Hubbard

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jfarnsworth

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Kaith thanks for the effort and research on this matter. It's very interesting to see the things you may miss.
 

Rich Parsons

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Kaith,

Good information,


Just some quick knowledge update tidbits.

Modern Plastics designed for space are used in every day life from plastic ware like bowls to devices inserted into the human body for surgical procedures.

The modern day Micro chip was developed for the space program.

The technology for pace makers and other modern day common test were first run on our space program participants.


Where would we be today if this technology had not been developed???


Note: I remember this information from reading NASA Tech Briefs. You check out some of the latest tech Briefs on line at http://www.nasatech.com/ .

Good Reading
:asian:
 
E

Elfan

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Wow I didn't realize there were so many. All you tend to hear about is Challenger.
 
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sweeper

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2 points,

1: the technology thing isn't totaly true, these things weren't realy developed for or by the space program but rather they were in development and were used by the space program.

2: Though the human casualties to my knowledge were correct int he list, if you consider non human casualty mission failures to be disasters than there were alot more, those are just the ones that blew up in our atmosphere.

and one question.

When a rocket is going up with a satalite, the satalites have plutonium bateries right? so how do they clean up all that splattered plutonium?
 

Rich Parsons

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Originally posted by sweeper
2 points,

1: the technology thing isn't totaly true, these things weren't realy developed for or by the space program but rather they were in development and were used by the space program.

2: Though the human casualties to my knowledge were correct int he list, if you consider non human casualty mission failures to be disasters than there were alot more, those are just the ones that blew up in our atmosphere.

and one question.

When a rocket is going up with a satalite, the satalites have plutonium bateries right? so how do they clean up all that splattered plutonium?


Sweeper,

No disrespect, since I am going off of what I read many years ago, I will grant you that I may not have the details accurate.

Could you supply a book or link that I could read for my own education.

Thank you

Rich
 
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