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Abort Guidance System
Auxiliary Power Unit
Abort to Orbit
Russian Micropurification Unit (Russian)
Carbon Dioxide Removal System
Colony Forming Unit
Control Moment Gyroscope
Cell Performance Monitor
Compound Specific Analyzer-Combustible Products
Extravehicular Mobility Unit
Electrical Power System
Fuel Cell Monitoring System
Functional Cargo Block (Russian)
Flight Safety Office
Galley Iodine Removal Assembly
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
General Purpose Computer
Global Positioning System
Inertial Measurement Unit
International Space Station
Internal Thermal Control System
Launch Control Officer
Low Iodine Residual System
Loss of Crew
Loss of Vehicle
Minimum Duration Flight
Master Events Controller
Main Landing Gear
Micro-Meteoroid Orbital Debris
Marshall Space Flight Center
NASA Standard Initiator
Office of Safety & Mission Assurance (NASA HQ)
Protuberance Air Load
Precision Approach Path Indicator
Primary Avionics Software System
Pyrotechnic Initiator Controller
Partial Pressure of CO2
Reaction Control System/Subsystem
Remote Manipulator System
Russia or Russian
Return to Launch Site
Safety & Mission Assurance
Solid Fuel Oxygen Generator
Solid Rocket Booster
Condensate Water Processor Unit (Russian)
Space Shuttle Main Engine
Space Shuttle Program
Thermal Protection System
Loss of Crew
Crew Injury/Illness and/or Loss of Vehicle or Mission
SRB Seal Events (1981-96)
Soyuz 1 4/24/67
STS-107 (Columbia) 2/1/2003
Soyuz 1 4/23/1967
Apollo 1 (AS-204) 1/27/1967
Other SRB gas seal anomalies:
STS-2, 6, 41B, 41C, 41D, 51C, 51D, 51B, 51G, 51F, 51I, 51J, 61A, 61B, 61C, 42, 70, 71, 78
STS-51L (Challenger) 1/28/1986
Soyuz 1 | 4/24/1967 | Crew: 1 | Loss of Crew | Related or Recurring event
Main and reserve parachutes failed.
On April 24, 1967 on the maiden flight of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, the cosmonaut encountered an anomaly with the parachute system during descent. During the descent the drag chutes successfully deployed, but the main chutes failed to deploy from their container. Detecting increasing speeds, the computer deployed a backup parachute. Because the drag chute was still attached and failed to release, the backup chute became tangled with the drag chute, preventing the deployment of the backup chute and resulting in a high-speed impact with the ground.
One cosmonaut was lost.
STS-107 (Columbia) | 2/1/2003 | Crew: 1 | Loss of Crew | Related or Recurring event
TPS damage from ascent debris strike resulted in loss of crew and vehicle on entry. Similar bipod ramp foam loss occurred on STS-7, STS-32, STS-50, STS-52, STS-62, and STS-112.
Damage to the Thermal Protection System from a debris strike on ascent resulted in the loss of crew and vehicle on entry on February 1, 2003.
At 81.7 seconds Mission Elapsed Time a piece of foam insulation from the External Tank (ET) left bipod ramp separated from the ET and struck the orbiter left wing leading edge in the vicinity of the lower half of reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panel #8, causing a breach in the RCC. During re-entry this breach allowed super-heated air to penetrate through the leading edge insulation and progressively melt the aluminum structure of the left wing, resulting in a weakening of the structure until increasing aerodynamic forces caused loss of control, failure of the wing, and break-up of the orbiter. This breakup occurred in a flight regime in which, given the design of the orbiter, there was no possibility for the crew to survive. (Similar bipod ramp foam releases prior to STS-107 occurred on STS-7, STS-32, STS-50, STS-52, STS-62, and STS-112.
Seven crew members were lost.
STS-108 | 12/7/2001 | Crew: 7
Violation of minimum landing weather requirements.
On December 17, 2001 the Shuttle Meteorology Group forecasted a “no go” for the de-orbit burn due to a weather forecast predicting the creation of a cloud ceiling at landing time. The Shuttle Training Aircraft reported a “go” based on observed conditions. Several positive factors provided the Flight Director with confidence to give a GO for landing on orbit 186, despite a weather forecast which could result in the crew being unable to see the Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPIs) or runway environment until 3,000 feet or below. The GO was given with the belief that the cloud layer at 3,000 feet would break and that the PAPIs and runway environment would be visible by 6,500 feet. However, the cloud ceiling did not break and a flight rule was violated, but waived following the flight.
Soyuz 1 | 4/23/1967 | Crew: 1 | Loss of Mission
Failures in attitude control and electrical power systems resulted in a loss of mission. The launch of the intended docking target, Soyuz 2, was scrubbed.
After achieving orbital insertion on April 23, 1967 the left solar array of the Soyuz 1 spacecraft did not deploy, causing the spacecraft to receive only half of the planned solar power. Despite the solar array failure, the crew member attempted to maneuver the spacecraft. The attempt was unsuccessful because of interference between the reaction control system exhaust and the ion flow sensors.
The failure of the solar array to deploy also prevented the cover of the sun and star sensor from opening, preventing attitude control for crucial maneuvers such as spin stabilization and engine firings. The failures on Soyuz 1 prevented the launch of Soyuz 2, which had been scheduled to rendezvous and dock with Soyuz 1, causing the Soyuz 1 mission to be ended early.
Due to the failures with the control systems, the cosmonaut had to manually control the spacecraft for the critical de-orbit burn and entry while also managing the power supply of the crippled vehicle. (See also Soyuz 1 entry event)
Apollo I (AS-204) | 1/27/1967 | Crew: 3 | Loss of Crew
Crew cabin fire (electrical short + high pressure O2 atmosphere).
On January 27, 1967 the crew cabin of Apollo 1 caught fire during a test with three crew members inside. The cabin was filled with a pure oxygen atmosphere and pressurized greater than ambient pressure (16.7 psi). Over the course of several hours, the oxygen permeated all materials in the cabin, which had been tested to the normal flight pressure of pure oxygen (5 psi). When the fire began it spread rapidly. Due to the pressure in the cabin, the crew members could not open the hatch to escape. Technicians in the room outside the capsule attempted to open the hatch but were driven back by the heat and smoke. Some technicians donned the available gas masks, but the masks were designed to protect against hypergolic propellant fumes, not smoke. Consequently, these technicians lost consciousness after a short time in the smoke-filled room.
All three crew members were lost.
The fire was caused by an electrical short from an unprotected wire. A subsequent review of all wiring dioded to both Main Bus A and B identified a problem with an environmental control system instrumentation wire powered from Main Bus A and B. The wire was routed over plumbing lines on the crew compartment floor, located below the left-hand crew seat, going into the left-hand equipment bay, between the environmental control unit and the oxygen panel. This Teflon-insulated wire should have had a protective Teflon overwrap, but closeout photos showed that the overwrap had slipped down, no longer providing protection. The commander likely contacted this wire with his foot when he turned to change his communications cable. The most probable initiator of the fire is an electrical arc from this wire, which was unprotected from external damage.
Factors contributing to this accident include:
Other SRB Seal Events | Related or Recurring event
SRB gas sealing anomalies have also occurred on:
STS-2 November 12, 1981
STS-6 April 4, 1983
STS-11 (STS-41B) February 3,1984
STS-41C April 6,1984
STS-41D August 30, 1984
STS-51C January 24,1985
STS-51D April 12, 1985
STS-51B April 29, 1985
STS-51G June 17,1985
STS-51F July 29, 1985
STS-51I August 27, 1985
STS-51J October 3, 1985
STS-61A October 30, 1985
STS-61B November 26,1985
STS-61C January 12, 1986
STS-42 January 22, 1992
STS-71 June 27, 1995
STS-70 July 13, 1995
STS-78 June 20, 1996
STS-51L (Challenger) | 1/28/1986 | Crew: 7 | Loss of Crew | Related or Recurring event
SRB seal failure.
On January 28, 1986 a combustion gas leak developed in the right solid rocket motor aft field joint shortly after solid rocket booster ignition. The resulting hot gas plume exiting the joint impinged upon the SRB lower attachment strut and adjacent external tank structure weakening the structure to the point of failure.
Seventy-four seconds into flight, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke up.
All seven crew members were lost.
Related or Recurring event
TPS Entry Events (1981-2003)
Soyuz Landing Events
LANDING & POSTLANDING