McNair was chosen as one of the thirty-five candidates from a group of ten thousand astronauts in the NASA astronaut program. Perhaps that you are thinking about the legend of the lost cosmonauts. The pad was being refurbished for commercial satellite launches by General Dynamics starting in 1990. The astronauts spent additional time in Earth orbit to make sure the spacecraft was functional before firing their S-IVB third stage engine and departing for the Moon. This list excludes deaths caused by military operations, either by deliberate detonations, or accidental during production - for example German V-2 rockets reportedly caused on average an estimated 6 deaths per operational rocket just during its production stages. An electrical fire in the cabin spread quickly in the pure oxygen atmosphere and claimed the lives of all three Apollo 1 crew members during a "plugs-out" test in preparation for their planned February 21 launch. “Outwardly, there was no damage whatsoever,” recalled Kerim Kerimov, chair of the State Commission, in Ben Evans' book Foothold in the Heavens. Spaceflight-related accidents and incidents during assembly, testing, and preparation for flight of crewed and uncrewed spacecraft have occasionally resulted in injuries or the loss of craft since the earliest days of space programs. Order now to get your Black Holes Collection from Space & Beyond Box! The satellite was undamaged. There have been scientists who have died due to blasts of rockets while returning from space but not in space as such. After curing process of an experimental solid propellant segment weighing 14.5 tonnes, during removal of bottom plate from casting assembly, propellant within segment caught fire resulting in death of four engineers and two assistants. Plus, get FREE SHIPPING & BONUS GIFT! The crew died as a result of a fire within the spacecraft cabin. This took place in 1971. By any of these definitions, however, McAuliffe, along with her first-timer crewmates Mike Smith and Greg Jarvis, did not fly in space and should not be considered astronauts. 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