US' first satellite launch failed as rocket lost thrust, exploded fuel tanks 2 secs after lift-off from Cape Canaveral; Vanguard satellite survived and is now displayed at Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.
December 6, 1957: Vanguard TV3
During the final unmanned test of the Saturn V rocket before a crewed mission to the moon, Apollo 6 experienced severe "pogo oscillations" and other flaws that prevented it from reaching its intended orbit, although it did reach space; image from NASA.
April 4, 1968: Apollo 6
The space shuttle Challenger disintegrated 73 seconds after liftoff due to a ruptured O-ring seal, killing all seven astronauts on board and suspending the shuttle program for 32 months.
January 28, 1986: Challenger
NOAA weather satellite, NASA's first launch after Challenger disaster, failed when the Delta 3194 rocket was struck by lightning, causing an electrical fault that shut down the engine, leading to the rocket's destruction 20 seconds later. Image: NASA.
May 3, 1986: GOES-G
The first solar sail spacecraft, Cosmos 1, launched by the Planetary Society and Cosmos Studios, crashed into the Barents Sea due to a failed burn by the Volna rocket.
June 21, 2005: Cosmos 1
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