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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Manned Spaceflight missions - major tragedies & mishaps [Infograhpic]

Will end the week on a somewhat sobering note. It is an experience filled with sheer exhilaration to watch a Space Shuttle or a Rocket lift-off from the ground, carrying, on-board, humans, or satellite/scientific payload[s], travelling to the furthest reaches as enabled by technologies developed. The process that makes this possible epitomises the ultimate in Engineering & scale, a culmination of multi-billions of man-hours or perhaps, even larger, of effort & endeavour. However, as with anything ground-breaking & revolutionary, such pursuits are also extremely fraught with risks, often mortal.

Yet, the knowledge gained & the vast amount of data generated from such accidents have helped pinpoint the causative flaws in the system - improper design, flawed manufacturing process, incorrect storage & maintenance programme, are few of the numerous. With the new-found knowledge in hand, one begins to go about addressing those issues, eliminating them & replacing them with a better solution, that makes subsequent attempts that much more safer & reliable. Thus, it would not be too much of an exaggeration to state, occurrences of mishaps & accidents, extremely tragic & hugely expensive too, that they are, play a vital role in helping make the system safer for future endeavour.

The following illustration, named 'Significant Incidents and Close Calls in Human Spaceflight', has been prepared by Johnson Space Centre's Flight Safety Office, shows some of the major tragedies & mishaps that have occurred since the time man had begun making forays into Space. The infographic also indicated the approximate phase during the vehicle's path, with reference to the Earth & Moon, where the system deviated from design.

Click on the picture below to view a larger-sized version

Major mishaps & accidents that have occured in the coure of manned Space flight


Earlier: Nukes in Space: Rainbow bombs [Documentary]

An Iranian aboard India's manned Space mission

India's Space Shuttle [Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV)] program - some information

Foreign Satellite Launch & Construction by Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO]


Update [2012.02.27]:

Thanks to a member on the Bharat Rakshak Forum for locating a copy of the infographic on NASA's website. Linked to it & mooching off its infinite bandwidth, now. Hee Ha Ha Ha!! [evil laughter]. It can be accessed here.