7 Big Accidents and Disasters in Spaceflight History

6. STS-107: Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster

The Columbia space shuttle collapse was another major space accident in the history of spaceflights. It was the second space expedition after the NASA’s Challenger. It created an extreme sense of fear among the space agencies for any future space expeditions. The accident involves the breaking off of a part that was characterized to insulate the fuel tank to prevent them from high temperatures and prevent the ice formation. The disintegration resulted in the creation of a large vacant space the left side of the shuttle.

Due to the scarcity of camera coverage, the NASA was unaware of the severity. The in darkness of the severity resulted in the death of all six American and one Israeli astronaut.

STS-107: Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster

7. Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: Poisonous Gas Leak

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was held in 1975 which was important both politically and in space expeditions. It was the first and the last joint space voyage between the United States and the Soviet Union. The mission went flawlessly until the end and it created a strong bond between the two superpowers.

There was two spacecrafts in which one was accompanied with the three American astronauts while the second was accompanying two Soviet cosmonauts. Both the spacecraft stopped in the orbit around the earth allowing the astronauts to explore that region. In addition to that, both the parties share some pleasantries and performed some experiments.

People from both the sides communicate with the other in their native languages to break all the barriers and to create a friendly environment. After 44 hours, they parted their ways and after two days they started moving back towards the earth. During their return, the RCS gets malfunction and resulted in the release of poisonous N2O4 into the cabin where the astronauts were assembled. Fortunately, the cabin was ventilated enough to prevent any life concerns. They were taken to the nearest hospital on their landing for the instant medical assistance.

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: Poisonous Gas Leak
Johnson Space Center/NASA


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