Georgi Dobrovolski, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev are the only people who have died in space. Some critics have questioned the original source of the story that Vladimir Ilyushin was the real first man in space. Additionally, three astronauts died in the Apollo 1 fire while testing the Apollo spacecraft on the ground. It involves one Soviet cosmonaut’s last moments in space during the beginning of the Space Race, between the United States and the USSR. The anniversaries of … For more, see Chapter 10: Dead Cosmonauts. Since 1961, almost every version of the theory has been based on the same April 11th newspaper article in the British communist newspaper the Daily Worker. An oxygen tank exploded, damaging the … It might be though! According to LiveScience, as of 2014, 18 astronauts have died during launches or re-entry from space, but none have been lost outside of the Earth's atmosphere. There are also five space travellers who surpassed the 50-mi-border on the sub-orbital SpaceShipTwo and are thus recognized as (commercial) astronauts by the FAA but not by the FAI since they didn't surpass the 100-km-line, while one of them had flown to space in the Space Shuttle already and thus already has been an FAI-recognized astronaut. 1 February 2003; Space Shuttle Columbia , over northeast Texas: Columbia was in the re-entry phase of flight after a 16-day mission and its intended destination was the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In fact, some have even argued that a number of cosmonauts were lost in space. In 1960, science-fiction author Robert Heinlein reported that while traveling in the USSR, he met Red Army cadets who told him that there had recently been a manned space launch. The Lost Cosmonauts or Phantom Cosmonauts are subjects of a conspiracy theory alleging that some Soviet cosmonauts went to outer space, but their existence has never been publicly acknowledged by either the Soviet or Russian space authorities. Made famous in the 1995 film of the same name, Apollo 13 could have left its astronauts stranded in space. There is no actual evidence supporting this but during the 1950’s and 1960’s the soviet union space program had a lot of failed launches and deaths. A Russian engineer has acknowledged that the launch was ordered before the spacecraft had been fully debugged — probably for political reasons. Vintage Space By Amy Shira Teitel August 20, 2017 1:03 PM Cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolski (left), Vladislav Volkov (middle) and Viktor Patsayev (right), the only three people to die in space, are featured on three USSR stamps. Communications with the shuttle were lost at about 9 a.m. local time. 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