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Launchbox PoD 11: The Near Misses of Mercury

AndyC

Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
These articles make it clear it's a minor miracle people came back alive at all
The explosion-rate of Atlas launches when they strapped John Glenn in at the top of Mercury-Atlas-6 was pretty bad. Counting "partial failures" as "successes" (because they allowed you to get the capsule back if they happened on a manned launch), in 17 launch attempts of an Atlas rocket prior to Glenn's launch, 9 got into orbit (6 of them even the intended orbit) and 8 went all explodey.
 

Thande

The loathsome Zordrak, Lord of Nightmares
Published by SLP
These articles make it clear it's a minor miracle people came back alive at all
The Soviets specifically excluded Gagarin from future space flights (I think he was in a backup crew once, but after that) because they didn't want to risk the bad PR of him being killed in a later flight.

Then, of course, he proceeded to die in a boring old normal plane crash.
 

AndyC

Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
The Soviets specifically excluded Gagarin from future space flights (I think he was in a backup crew once, but after that) because they didn't want to risk the bad PR of him being killed in a later flight.

Then, of course, he proceeded to die in a boring old normal plane crash.
There is a rumour that Gagarin tried to get Komarov (who died on Soyuz 1, and pretty much saw it coming before launch) to step down from the flight so that he (Gagarin), as reserve pilot would be slotted in. And then the Politburo would overrule the launch decision for fear of losing Gagarin in flight.
However (if it's true), Komarov refused due to the chance that the Politburo would fail to overrule the launch decision (by ignorance or bureaucratic inertia) and condemn Gagarin to the suicidal flight.
 

Archibald

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
The explosion-rate of Atlas launches when they strapped John Glenn in at the top of Mercury-Atlas-6 was pretty bad. Counting "partial failures" as "successes" (because they allowed you to get the capsule back if they happened on a manned launch), in 17 launch attempts of an Atlas rocket prior to Glenn's launch, 9 got into orbit (6 of them even the intended orbit) and 8 went all explodey.

The final champagne-like failure was real - the infamous "four inch flight", November 1960.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-Redstone_1

Most. ridiculous. rocket.failure. ever.

ROTFL
 
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