An unmanned rocket set to bring supplies to the International Space Station exploded Tuesday just seconds after take-off. It was a setback for space exploration, but hardly the first, as we discussed in today’s 5 Things:
1. An original throwback to 1957: the Vanguard TV3, the United States’ first try at putting a satellite in space. It exploded two seconds after leaving the launch pad at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
2. In 1968, the Apollo 6 conducted a final test before a rocket that would carry men around the moon reached space, but it never made it into its orbit thanks to what are called “pogo oscillations” and a host of other issues just minutes after its launch.
3. The 1986 Challenger tragedy: we all remember those terrible images of the shuttle exploding just 73 seconds into flight, killing all seven astronauts on board.
4. Another shuttle tragedy: in 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry, killing all seven astronauts on board.
5. And ending on a different note (and a different planet): Mars. One of two NASA Mars Rovers called Spirit stopped phoning home back in 2011–a break up, literally, out of its world.