How Many Fatalities Have Occurred During Space-Related Missions?
The 14 astronauts and cosmonauts listed below died in space-related accidents.
|January 27, 1967||Roger Chaffee (U.S.)||Apollo I1|
|January 27, 1967||Edward White II (U.S.)||Apollo 1|
|January 27, 1967||Virgil "Gus" Grissom (U.S.)||Apollo 1|
|April 24, 1967||Vladimir Komarov (U.S.S.R.)||Soyuz 1|
|June 29,1971||Viktor Patsayev (U.S.S.R.)||Soyuz 11|
|June 29,1971||Vladislav Volkov (U.S.S.R.)||Soyuz 11|
|June 29, 1971||Georgi Dobrovolsky (U.S.S.R.)||Soyuz 11|
|January 28, 1986||Gregory Jarvis (U.S.)||STS 51L|
|January 28, 1986||Christa McAuliffe (U.S.)||STS 51L|
|January 28, 1986||Ronald McNair (U.S.)||STS 51L|
|January 28, 1986||Ellison Onizuka (U.S.)||STS 51L|
|January 28, 1986||Judith Resnik (U.S.)||STS 51L|
|January 28, 1986||Francis Scobee (U.S.)||STS 51L|
|January 28, 1986||Michael Smith (U.S.)||STS 51L|
Chaffee, Grissom, and White died in a cabin fire during a ground test of Apollo 1. Komarov was killed in Soyuz 1 when the capsule's parachute failed. Dobrovolsky, Patsayev, and Volkov were killed during the Soyuz 2's reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, when a valve accidentally opened and the air in the capsule escaped. Jarvis, McAuliffe, McNair, Onizuka, Resnik, Scobee, and Smith died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after lift-off.
In addition, 19 astronauts and cosmonauts have died of nonspace-related causes. Fourteen of these died in air crashes, four died of natural causes, and one died in an auto crash.
Sources: Astronauts and Cosmonauts Biographical and Statistical Data: Report to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives 1989, p. 447; Bali, Mrinal. Space Exploration, p. 143.