On This Day In Space: Sept. 26, 1983: Soyuz crew narrowly escapes rocket explosion (Image Credit: Space.com)
On Sept. 26, 1983, a Russian Soyuz rocket exploded on the launchpad. Two cosmonauts Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov were inside their Soyuz T-10-1 spacecraft atop the rocket, and they barely made it out alive.
Titov and Strekalov’s mission was intended to launch the cosmonauts from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the Salyut 7 space station. But about 90 seconds before their rocket was supposed to launch, a fire erupted on the launchpad.
Thankfully, the emergency escape system ejected their space capsule from the top of the rocket just two seconds before the fire caused the explosion.
On Oct. 11, 2018, a Soyuz rocket carrying an American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut also suffered an in-flight abort, forcing its launch escape system to pull the Soyuz capsule free from its stricken booster. NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin did land safely after the abort and later launched on a new Soyuz rocket to complete their trip to the International Space Station.
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