Luis Gom is a writer who loves writing on technology, science, and culture. He's likewise passionate about mystery
Today, many people want to know what has happened to some astronauts who suddenly disappeared. It is true that nearly twenty have died but what about the other ones? Are they still up there?
Normally, we find a ‘proper’ response to these questions in science-fiction movies and documentaries. In this article, we’ll try to respond accurately to the two of them.
Question 1: Have any astronauts died during a space mission?
Yes, a lot of them, certainly.
The first astronaut to die in space was Vladimir Komarov on April 24th, 1967, when he was piloting Soyuz-1. His parachute failed, and his ship crashed when landing back to Earth.
Then on November 15th, 1967, Michael Adams died when he lost control over the experimental aircraft X15 20 kilometers from Earth. He’s said to die in outer space because he had previously flown as high as 80 kilometers. Experts believe Michael also lost his life in the outer space.
Later, on June 30th, 1971, astronauts Georgy Dobrovolsky, Viktor Patsayev, and Vladislav Volkov passed when the Soyuz-11 lost a valve and detached from the Salyut 1 Space Station. They died when they entered the Earth’s atmosphere.
Then, on January 28th, 1986, famous professor Christa McAuliffe died when onboard the Challenger Space Shuttle. The accident reportedly occurred because of lousy spaceship design and wrong decisions when commencing takeoff.
After that, the well-known disaster that involved the Columbia Space Shuttle took place in 2003. The heat shield failed, causing the death of Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon.
In total, 19 astronauts have so far died in the history of space exploration.
The other question that pops into mind is: Are there astronauts wandering in the outer space?
Astronauts lost out there?
These astronauts, also called ghost astronauts, are believed to be drifting in outer space forever. Although we’ve seen a lot of them in science-fiction films, the answer to this question is a flat No. Ghost astronauts don’t exist.
People who think reversely base their arguments on conspiracy theories against the Russian space projects. One of these theories was created by Brothers Achille and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia. These two Italian radio enthusiasts managed to intercept space-Earth communication during the first years of the conquest of outer space. According to this theory, they were able to record an SOS message on November 28th, 1960, coming from an unknown object that was moving away.
Years later, in May 1961, the voice of the allegedly first woman in space Ludmila Tokov was recorded when coming back to Earth. She sent a message saying that ‘something dangerous was about to happen’. However, this is not real because the first woman who flew beyond the frontiers was Valentina Tereshkova, not Ludmila. This woman did not exist.
All these stores involving wandering astronauts are no more than conspiracy theories that are often taken as jokes. The answer to this second question is No. Absolutely.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Ernesto Gomez