5 space missions, three by NASA and two by the Soviet Union, ended in disasters that claimed the lives of astronauts.
According to Nigel Packham, Deputy Director of Mission Assurance and Safety at NASA, 21 people died during the implementation of the , Live Science June 12 was reported.
Launch of Space Shuttle Challenger from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Space Shuttle Challenger launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986. (Photo: NASA)
“Accidents are often a combination of unusual circumstances, equipment failures, human error, political and regulatory issues.”said Jim Hermɑnson, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the University of Washington.
The two deadliest disasters were NASA’s space shuttle missions. In January 1986, it exploded 73 seconds after launch, killing seven crew members, including Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire teacher who boarded as part of NASA’s Teacher in Space project. The crash caused by the unusually cold temperatures at Cape Canaveral resulted in loss of flexibility in some of the missile’s sealing materials.
“Hot gas escaped, causing the propellant tank to burn and causing a large explosion”, Hermanson said. He added that the management team was also partly responsible for carrying out the launch despite warnings from some NASA engineers.
Another fatal incident occurred in February 2003, when it broke up on the return trip to Earth, killing 7 crew members. Prior to the Columbia disaster, the phases of atmospheric re-entry (return), descent and landing were thought to be “slightly”especially compared to the extremely intense launch conditions, Packham said.
According to Packham, who was implicated in the cause of the crash, the Columbia was damaged during launch when a piece of foam insulation broke off – something that happens in almost every launch before and after Columbia. But in this case, the sponge hit the shuttle’s wing, damaging it. The damaged part of the wing could not withstand the high temperatures of re-entry, causing the ship to break up.
, although not leaving the ground, also entered the list of fatal space accidents. A pre-launch test caused a fire inside the ship, killing three crew members.
In 1967, the Soviet Union crashed to the ground when the parachute system failed, killing the crew on board. According to Jackham, part of the reason has to do with politics, because that’s when the space race begins and the launch must coincide with a political event even though the decision makers know the spacecraft n is not ready. He added that the mission control team realized that there would be problems with the parachute system as soon as the spacecraft entered orbit.
Astronauts Georgy Dobrovolsky (center), Viktor Patsayev (left) and Vladisslav Volkov (right) in the cabin of the Soyuz 11 spacecraft in 1971. (Photo: Hulton-Beutsch/CORBIS/Corbis Collection).
The last three astronauts on the list were killed in a decompression accident in 1971. It was the only accident that actually happened outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Overall, the ascent and descent are the most dangerous stages, according to Hermanson. At that time, the trio of astronauts had just spent more than three weeks on the first space station set up by the Soviet Union. But when they returned to Earth, the ship was depressurized and they had no space suits to protect them.
Today, about 650 people have flown in space and that number will grow as more commercial flights become available, Jackham says. “There will never be enough risk. That’s what it takes to go into space.”he said.
However, experts also need to understand the risks involved. So Packham and his colleagues are collecting data and finding better ways to accurately calculate the risk astronauts face. “We need to let them know what the likelihood of return is,” he said.
Article source: VnExpress
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Five space missions, three by NASA and two by the Soviet Union, ended in disasters that claimed the lives of astronauts. According to Nigel Packham, Deputy Director of…