Today is the 52nd anniversary of the tragic death of Vladimir Komarov, the first human to die in space. The mission was Soyuz 1, the initial flight of the Soviet designed spacecraft which is still in use today. He was well aware that this first spacecraft had major, critical flaws but chose to make the flight in order to protect the life of his colleague Yuri Gagarin, who otherwise would have been ordered to make the flight. He made his funeral arrangements in advance. There were numerous malfunctions throughout the nearly 2-day flight which Komarov managed to overcome, but he was killed as a result of parachute failure during his re-entry.
“The conquest of space is worth the risk of life”–American astronaut Gus Grissom.
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