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Space-related disasters: a timeline

History has shown that risk is the only certainty in the quest to explore the final frontier.
In the July 2003 issue of Astronomy, Bob Berman describes some of the space age's failures, from the tragic loss of the shuttles Columbia and Challenger to the nearly catastrophic Apollo 13 mission. Here, in timeline form, are some of the disasters, scares, and other missteps that illustrate the inherent risks of exploration and what has been learned from them. Nedelin disasterOctober 24, 1960Cold war hysteria led to the rushed test-launch of an R-16 intercontinental ballistic missile at the Sov...

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