NASA Accidents Quiz
by Staff
Spaceflight is a risky endeavor for both man and machine. How much do you know about these NASA mishaps?

What weather event affected Apollo 12 during a 1969 launch?

  • lightning
  • high wind
  • hail

In 1991, what happened to astronaut Jay Apt as he performed a spacewalk?

  • He nearly drifted away.
  • His suit was punctured.
  • He spun out of control.

Mission STS-51-L refers to which mission?

  • 1988 Atlantis mission
  • 1986 Challenger mission
  • 1983 Columbia mission

In what year did the Apollo 1 tragedy occur?

  • 1964
  • 1967
  • 1969

What started the Apollo 1 fire?

  • stray sparks from repair work
  • an engineer's cigarette
  • electrical wiring

What was the likely cause of death for the Apollo 1 crew?

  • suffocation
  • burns
  • head trauma

In which year did astronauts develop immediate pneumonia after being exposed to toxic gas during an Apollo Soyuz test project?

  • 1971
  • 1975
  • 1978

How did the first black astronaut perish?

  • car accident on the way to base
  • training crash
  • accident on the Space Station

In 1993, which space shuttle experienced an accidental explosion while in orbit?

  • space shuttle Discovery
  • space shuttle Atlantis
  • space shuttle Challenger

In 1971, how many of Apollo 15's landing parachutes failed?

  • one
  • two
  • three

In 1999, an electrical short affected which component on the space shuttle Columbia?

  • autopilot controls
  • engine controllers
  • fire suppression systems

How many astronauts died when the shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986?

  • four
  • seven
  • eight

True or false: Some members of the Challenger crew were still alive when the craft struck Earth.

  • true
  • false

What caused the Challenger accident?

  • flaws on the body panels
  • pilot error
  • failed O-rings

In 1966, where did Elliot See and Charles Bassett crash during a NASA training flight?

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Missouri

Which vehicle spun out of control due to a thruster failure?

  • Apollo 13
  • Gemini 8
  • Apollo 12

Laurel B. Clark was aboard which spacecraft when it failed?

  • space shuttle Columbia
  • space shuttle Challenger
  • space shuttle Atlantis

Other than the United States, what other nationality was represented during the last mission of space shuttle Columbia?

  • English
  • Israeli
  • French

The largest ground search in history was conducted in order to find debris from which spacecraft?

  • space shuttle Columbia
  • space shuttle Challenger
  • Apollo 15

What year was the space shuttle Columbia destroyed?

  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004

Where did most of the debris from Columbia land?

  • Texas and Louisiana
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Florida and Alabama

What caused the Columbia to break up as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere?

  • warped bolts
  • cracked windows
  • damaged heat shields

During the 1970 Apollo 13 mission, what happened to the engine during launch?

  • It shut down early.
  • It nearly broke apart.
  • It ruptured and leaked fuel.

In what year was a 4-foot (1-meter) piece of space shuttle Columbia found in a Texas lake?

  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011

In 1961, what happened to the Liberty Bell 7 capsule as it landed?

  • The hatch opened at the wrong time.
  • The parachute failed.
  • It was crushed on impact.

What equipment problem ended Apollo 13's chances of reaching the moon (and nearly killed the crew)?

  • hydraulic system failure
  • electrical fire
  • oxygen tank failure

True or false: Space shuttle Columbia's crew was conscious as it plummeted toward Earth.

  • true
  • false

In 1983, how many people were hurt when hydrazine leaked and caused a fire during the last minutes of space shuttle Columbia's mission?

  • zero
  • one
  • three

During the 1969 Apollo 12 mission, which object slammed into astronaut Alan Bean, giving him a concussion?

  • food container
  • oxygen canister
  • video camera

Why did Theodore Freeman die after ejecting from his jet during a 1964 training routine?

  • He was too close to the ground.
  • His parachute failed.
  • The ejection system failed.