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Space Disasters

Space Disasters

Smithsonian Channel 2020

A tribute to the bold men and women who put their lives on the line in order to get a foothold in space, sometimes with disastrous results.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Space Disasters

#1 - First Generation


Season 1 - Episode 1

From the earliest days of space exploration to humankind's latest endeavors, risk is always part of the equation. But for the pioneers who were the first to put NASA's unpredictable technology and unproven designs to the test, the dangers were greater. Witness the most traumatic early moments in America's race to space, from the unpredictable first flights of the X-15 to the successful failure of Mercury Redstone 4 to the Apollo 1 tragedy, and discover the stories of the brave astronauts and pilots who risked their lives with each takeoff.

The episode was rated from 3 votes.

#2 - Failure at Re-Entry


Season 1 - Episode 2

It's one of the most challenging and dangerous phases of space exploration: bringing a spacecraft back to Earth. For decades, NASA and Soviet engineers and designers have struggled to build machines that can withstand the unforgivable heat and unthinkable speeds caused by re-entry into our atmosphere. Join us on some white-knuckled journeys home, as we reveal terrifying close calls, and devastating failures just moments from touchdown, from the tragic maiden flight of Soyuz to the 1979 Skylab panic to the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

The episode was rated from 3 votes.

#3 - Fixing on the Fly


Season 1 - Episode 3

Troubleshooting in space can be a matter of life and death. From deep-space collisions to deadly chemical leaks, astronauts are forced to innovate to survive.

The episode was rated from 0 votes.

#4 - The Human Factor


Season 1 - Episode 4

There’s no escaping human error, no matter how good the technology. The tragedies and missteps in our attempt to conquer space - as well as the knowledge gained from these tragedies.

The episode was rated from 0 votes.

#5 - When Weather Strikes


Season 1 - Episode 5

Space travel is fraught with nature’s dangers. Lightning nearly scuttles Apollo 12. Solar flares threaten the space station. And a cold snap leads to the Challenger disaster.

The episode was rated from 0 votes.

#6 - Failure To Launch
Season 1 - Episode 6

The tragedies and missteps in our attempts to conquer space. First moments are the must dangerous. From Sputnik to SpaceX, millions of litres of fuel ignites and sometimes explodes.

The episode was rated from 0 votes.

Last updated: nov 25, 2020



Going into space is dangerous. Everyone with even the slightest knowledge of the matter knows that. It's a shame that every documentary nowadays has a tendency to over-dramatize with music and style of narration. I like a more factual approach. Not a waste of time but I have seen better.

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