Astronomy and Space


How many fatalities have occurred during space-related missions?

The 14 astronauts and cosmonauts listed below died in space-related accidents.

Chaffee, Grissom, and White died in a cabin fire during a test firing of the Apollo 1 rocket. Komarov was killed in Soyuz 1 when the capsule’s parachute failed. Dobrovolsky, Patsayev, and Volkov were killed during the Soyuz II’s re-entry when a valve accidently opened and released their capsule’s atmosphere. Jarvis, McAuliffe, McNair, Onizuka, Resnik, Scobee, and Smith died when the space shuttle Challenger STS 51L exploded 73 seconds after liftoff. Husband, McCool, Anderson, Chawla, Brown, Clark, and Ramon died when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas upon re-entry.

In addition, 19 other astronauts and cosmonauts have died of non-space related causes. Fourteen of these died in air crashes, four died of natural causes, and one died in an auto crash.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Science Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App