Technological Risks and Accidents
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This chapter focuses on the technological risks taken in space exploration. In addition, the US accidents that resulted in loss of life are discussed—the Apollo 1 fire (1967), the Challenger explosion (1986), and the Columbia disintegration (2003). The resulting discussion addresses technical reasons for each accident as well as a look into the NASA culture and timeline issues that affected each program event. Recent private enterprise space accidents (SpaceShipTwo and SpaceX rocket) are also addressed with reflections on the associated risks of space flight.