A Brief History
On September 25, 1992, NASA launched a probe known as the Mars Observer, alternately known as Mars Geoscience/Climatology Orbiter, an unmanned spacecraft sent to study the surface, atmosphere, climate, and magnetic field on Mars. Unfortunately, in August of 1993 communication with Mars Observer was lost permanently, a costly failure. Today, we list several egregious space exploration failures and invite you to tell us which one you think was the worst.
Soyuz 1, reentry parachute failure, 1967, 1 cosmonaut died
Apollo 1 Fire on Ground, 1967, 3 astronauts died
Apollo 13, multiple failures caused Moon landing to be aborted, 1970
Soyuz 11 docking decompression, 1971, 3 cosmonauts died
Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster, 1986, 7 astronauts died
PEPCON Disaster, 1988, NASA rocket fuel plant explodes, killing 2 and costing $100 million
Space Shuttle Columbia Disintegrates on Reentry, 2003, 7 astronauts died
Question for students (and subscribers): Which space related disaster do you believe was the worst? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Cabbage, Michael and William Harwood. Comm Check…: The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia. Free Press, 2009.
Hansen, James R. and Allan J McDonald. Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. University Press of Florida, 2012.
The featured image in this article, an artist rendering of Mars Observer in orbit around Mars, is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that “NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted“. (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)
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