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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Mar-31, 11:39 AM
What do you consider to have been the most dangerous space mission? (Excluding Apollo 13).

my votes

satellite rescues where they thought there was a chance that the rocket on the wayward satellite might ignite....can't remember which shuttle flight it was

STS 114
Challenger (abort to orbit mission) nail biter-they lost a main engine on the way up

Hubble servicing missions....

gwiz
2006-Mar-31, 12:40 PM
Soyuz 1, a rushed manned mission following a string of failures during the unmanned test phase.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Mar-31, 01:50 PM
Apollo 12 lightning strike

Relmuis
2006-Mar-31, 01:58 PM
Dangerous to whom? To the astronauts or to the people on the Earth, or those in the vicinity of the launch site?

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Mar-31, 02:47 PM
to the guys sitting on the stack

ToSeek
2006-Mar-31, 03:35 PM
Well, you could divide it into two categories: missions that were dangerous based on what was planned, and missions that were dangerous due to what actually happened.

In the former category, I would nominate Apollo 8: first manned use of the Saturn V (after the previous test had several serious problems), only the second manned flights of the command and service modules, no backup crew quarters, and they send them to the Moon. I still can't believe they had the nerve. It would never happen now.

In the latter category, the shutdown of the central engine of the second stage on Apollo 13 is all but forgotten in light of what happened later, but it narrowly averted a catastrophic failure of the booster.

Launch window
2006-Mar-31, 03:40 PM
Return to flight STS-114 wasn't exactly safe, they carried out an In-flight EVA repair and when it launched there was a lot of debris that weighed about half as much as the piece of foam blamed for the loss of Columbia,
http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/02/28/16-pieces-of-foam-fell-off-discovery/
16 chunks of debris, lucky that Discovery dodged them

Cugel
2006-Mar-31, 03:48 PM
How about Gagarin and Al Shepard?
At the time it wasn't even sure that man could survive zero g.
Although that was probably the least of their worries, given the failure rate of the boosters of those days.

Nicolas
2006-Mar-31, 06:12 PM
any of the last stays on Mir ;) :D

Seriously though: I would vote (regarding planned missions) for first uses of rockets and complex EVA's /dockings.

R.A.F.
2006-Mar-31, 06:29 PM
I consider the Apollo "J" missions to have been fairly risky...the Astronauts were very far away from the LM for extended periods...

..if something had gone wrong with a spacesuit, it would have taken time to get back to the LM.

Nicolas
2006-Mar-31, 07:37 PM
The LM was not pressurized anyway if you got in, so my understanding is that it would not make a difference as the LM pressurizes too slow to save you. Correct?

Or was there a hoze or something you could use to get air?

Cylinder
2006-Mar-31, 08:14 PM
The LM was not pressurized anyway if you got in, so my understanding is that it would not make a difference as the LM pressurizes too slow to save you. Correct?

OK. I see what you're saying - they were depressurized for EVA. I don't know the pressure rate for the LEM but it would be a straightforward calculation from the ALSJ transcript, since they call it (IIRC).

Nicolas
2006-Mar-31, 09:19 PM
That would be a good source indeed. Say the time between hatch locked and pressure, or something like three quarters of that time to start having a survivable environment.

I'm afraid it is way too long for a full suit failure though.