The Soyuz 11 Space Disaster: a Case Study in Engineering Disasters

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  • Topic: International Space Station, Soyuz 11, Human spaceflight
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  • Published : November 28, 2012
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The Soyuz 11 Space Disaster:
A Case Study in Engineering Disasters

ENGG 123

November 20, 2011

ABSTRACT
In 1971, Soyuz 11 was the first manned spaceship to contact the first space station. As the astronauts were preparing to re-enter the earth's atmosphere the crew cab depressurized and the astronauts were killed within seconds. This paper will discuss the events that happened and how they were investigated. It will also discuss how the disaster affected future engineering decisions regarding the Soyuz missions as well as other future space adventures.

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Table of Contents

Abstract.............................................................................................................i Table of Contents..............................................................................................ii List of Figures...................................................................................................iii 1.0 Introduction.................................................................................................1 2.1 What Happened..........................................................................................1 3.1 What Went Wrong......................................................................................4 3.2 What Was Learned................................................................................7 4.0 Summary....................................................................................................8 Works Cited......................................................................................................9

List of Figures
Figure 2.1: a) a view of Soyuz 11 docked b) a view of Soyuz 11 taking off (Space Facts, n.d.)...........................................................................................2 Figure 2.2: a) seating chart for the astronauts b) the three astronauts inside Soyuz 11 c) astronauts preparing for takeoff (Space Facts, .n.d)...................3 Figure 3.1: a) map of the landing route for Soyuz 11 (Svens Space Page, n.d.)..................................................................................................................6 Figure 3.2: a) Soyuz 11 after landing b) workers covering up the astronauts..7 ii

Figure 3.3: a) Funeral held for the three Soyuz 11 astronauts.........................7

1.0 Introduction
The purpose of this paper is to provide background and information on the Soyuz 11 space disaster. This disaster occurred in 1971 and took the lives of three astronauts who took part in the first successful visit to the world's first space station. This paper will provide insight on how the disaster actually happened, what the causes were of this disastrous event. It will provide insight on how the events that occurred were investigated and also what was learned from these events and what changed.

2.1 What Happened
Unless otherwise stated the information in this section is provided from About.com(n.d.) 1
Salyut 1, a space station made by the Soviets was the first space station to ever be made. It was launched on April 19, 1971. It was a large cylinder with three compartments, could be used with or without people inside of it and it could only dock one spacecraft at a time. The primary use of this space station was to study the effects of long term space travel on a human body, as well as studying effects on growing plants. On April 19, 1971 Soyuz 10 was the first spacecraft to attempt a mission out to the space station however this mission was unsuccessful. As the space craft attempted to dock it failed so the astronauts had to return to earth. On the return the ships air supply turned toxic but only one man passed out, all three astronauts recovered fully. On 2 June 6, 1971 Soyuz 11 embarked on a journey to the space station. This ship was originally supposed to be manned by Valery...
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