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Astronauts Who Have Died 'On Duty'

Astronauts Who Have Died 'On Duty'

Dive into the space disasters that have killed heroic astronauts. VideoJug takes you through history with a look at the sad deaths of the astronauts that have died on duty in space.

Getting in to space is a very hazardous occupation.

Early pioneers risked their lives to achieve mans ultimate goal.

But how many astronauts Russian and American have died trying to achieve this.

America's first space disaster took place not in space but on the launch pad. On January 27 1967 a fire started inside the capsule of NASA's Apollo 1 Rocket.

The oxygen enriched atmosphere caused it to burn out of control killing the three astronauts. Ed White, Roger Chaffee and Virgil 'Gus' Grissom.

On 11 April 1970 Apollo 13 was launched from Cape Canaveral. As if to tempt fate, two days later on Friday 13th an explosion ripped through the crews service module.
After 4 grueling days the astronauts managed to return to earth narrowly escaping death. Apollo 13 became known as a successful failure.

It would be almost 19 years to the day since Apollo 1 when America had its next major tragedy.

On January 28th 1986 The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after only 73 seconds into its flight. Killing all seven astronauts including the first civilian in space, school teacher Christa McAuliffe.

The space shuttle program was grounded for almost 3 years following Challenger and NASA began to feel safe again until February 1st 2003. When the space shuttle Colombia was returning to earth after a trip to the International Space Station. Damage sustained to the left wing during lift off caused the shuttle to break up during re-entry. Killing the crew of seven.

The USSR has had its share of disasters too, probably many more than we know about.

Recent evidence suggests that before Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space in 1961, at least three cosmonauts had lost their lives trying.

On April 24 1967 Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov died in his Soyuz 1 capsule when the parachute failed to open.

On June 7th 1971 Three Soviet cosmonauts suffocated during re-entry In their Soyuz 11 capsule.

Lest we forget.