There"s no doubt room is an extremely dangerous place, however only a handful of space travelers have actually actually passed away there.


Following the just deaths to have actually ever developed in space, the USSR started a plan requiring all cosmonauts to wear pressurized spacesuits throughout reentry.

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For many wannabe astronauts, the idea of venturing into the good unknown would certainly be a dream come true. However over the previous 50 years, there"s to be a slew that spaceflight-related tragedies the are an ext akin to an astronaut"s worst nightmare.

In the critical half-century, about 30 astronauts and also cosmonauts have passed away while training for or attempting dangerous room missions. However the vast majority of these deaths arisen either top top the floor or in Earth"s atmosphere — below the welcomed boundary of space called the Kármán line, which starts at an altitude of about 62 mile (100 kilometers).

However, that the approximately 550 world who have so much ventured right into space, only three have actually died there.

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Early in the room race, both NASA and the USSR knowledgeable a surging in deadly jet crashes that killed a variety of pilots testing advanced rocket-propelled planes. Then, that course, there was the Apollo 1 fire in January 1967, which eliminated astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee in a horrific manner. Throughout a beginning simulation, a stray spark within the cabin the the base spacecraft, which to be filled through pure oxygen, ignited. This led to an uncontrollable fire that conveniently overwhelmed the doomed crew, causing their disastrous deaths as they struggled in vain to open up the pressurized flower door.


Astronaut Gus Grissom"s trip suit complying with the Apollo 1 fire in 1967, which eliminated Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee.

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"We had done precisely the same test the night prior to but there is no the flower closed, so us weren’t on 100 percent oxygen," Walter Cunningham, Lunar Module Pilot that Apollo 7, called "So, as soon as the crew died, it to be a couple of main later before they began picking increase the pieces, and at which suggest we were assigned the element crew the the an initial manned Apollo mission." A little less than two years later, in October 1968, Cunningham, Wally Schirra, and also Donn Eisele became the very first Apollo crew to efficiently venture into space.

Over the next three years, Apollo astronauts perfect seven much more missions — including the first Moon landing during Apollo 11 and also the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. Then, ~ above June 30, 1971, mankind witnessed the an initial (and, for this reason far, only) deaths to take place in space.

The Soyuz 11 catastrophe

The very first space terminal to park itself over Earth"s environment was the USSR"s Salyut 1, which released (unmanned) ~ above April 19, 1971. Simply a few days later, a crew of 3 Soviets blasted off aboard Soyuz 10 through the score of entering the space station and staying in orbit for a complete month. Though the Soyuz 10 crew docked safely v the Salyut 1, worries with the entry hatch prevented them from entering the an are station. During their premature return trip earlier to Earth, toxicity chemicals leaked into the air supply of Soyuz 10, leading to one cosmonaut to happen out. However, all 3 members the the crew eventually made it home safe v no long-lasting effects.

Just a couple of months later, ~ above June 6, the Soyuz 11 mission took one more crack in ~ accessing the space station. Uneven the previous crew, the 3 Soyuz 11 cosmonauts — Georgi Dobrovolski, Vladislav Volkov, and also Viktor Patsayev — successfully entered Salyut 1. When aboard, they invested the following three weeks no only setting a brand-new record for the longest time spent in space, but likewise carrying out lots of experiments concentrated on exactly how the human being body deals with prolonged periods the weightlessness.


Cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolski (left), Vladislav Volkov (middle), and also Viktor Patsayev (right), the only three world to die in space, space featured on three USSR stamps.

On June 29, the cosmonauts loaded ago into the Soyuz 11 spacecraft and also began your descent to Earth. And also that"s when tragedy struck.

To those on the ground, everything about Soyuz 11"s reentry seemed to walk off without a hitch. The spacecraft appeared to survive the atmosphere just fine, at some point landing in Kazakhstan together planned. It wasn"t till recovery crews opened the hatch that they uncovered all 3 crew members within were dead.


After finding out the unresponsive Soyuz 11 crew, recovery groups futilely check CPR, seen below in this screenshot the declassified footage that appeared in the the Russian TV documentary "Death that the Soyuz."

“Outwardly, there to be no damages whatsoever,” recalled Kerim Kerimov, chair of the State Commission, in Ben Evans" book Foothold in the Heavens. knocked ~ above the side, but there to be no response from within. On opening the hatch, they uncovered all three guys in your couches, motionless, with dark-blue job on their faces and trails the blood from your noses and ears. They gotten rid of them indigenous the descent module. Dobrovolski was still warm. The doctors gave synthetic respiration. Based on their reports, the cause of death was suffocation.”

The fatal accident was figured out to it is in the result of a faulty valve seal top top the spacecraft"s descent car that to explode open throughout its separation indigenous the organization module. In ~ an altitude the 104 miles (168 km), the deadly mix of a leaking valve and also the vacuum of an are rapidly sucked all the air the end of the crew cabin, depressurizing it. And because the valve was hidden listed below the cosmonauts" seats, that would have actually been virtually impossible for them to deal with the trouble in time.

During very early NASA vacuum test, Jim Leblanc"s pressurized suit began to shed air, resulting in decompression. Within about 30 seconds, the passed out, but his coworkers fortunately were maybe to get to him in time to conserve his life.

As a direct result of the decompression deaths the the Soyuz 11 crew, the USSR easily made the shift to requiring every cosmonauts come wear pressurized space suits during reentry — a exercise that"s tho in ar today.