The Mystery of the 3 Astronauts Who Died Smiling

The cases of astronauts who have died in fulfillment of their mission have been several, but perhaps none is as enigmatic as the one that happened on June 30, 1971.

The Mystery of the 3 Astronauts Who Died Smiling

A great mystery in outer space

On board the Soviet-born Soyus XI spacecraft were the reserve Russian cosmonauts: Vladislav Volkov, Gueorgui Dobrovolski and Viktor Patsayev, who took the official crew post when they boarded one of the three cosmonauts they were going to board Originally a spot was detected on a lung, so they were replaced at the last minute.

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The Soyus XI was the first spacecraft with crew on board to inhabit a space station, specifically Salyut 1, and had remained there for several days completing the mission of its predecessor, the Soyus 10.

Until that moment everything was going well and there was nothing to worry about. After carrying out the actions for which the Soyus XI had been intended he would return back to Earth with the crew on board.

However, at the time of closing the hatch the systems detected that the hatch was not hermetically closed and it was only after several attempts that the detectors did not report any errors.

Everything was on track on the way back, although communication was lost around the last few minutes. However, the unthinking happened when the technicians opened the line and made the respective reception.

They greeted them, but the astronauts remained motionless and none moved their hand or responded to correspond to the greeting. The however, they all had a marked smile on their faces. Just an instant later, technicians warned that all three were dead.

The causes of the accident remain an enigma, although some claim that the cause would be in the hatch that would not have closed hermetically, coupled with the fact that by then the astronauts didn´t wear special suits in order to be able to wear more crew. However, the researchers attributed the accident to the opening of a valve.

Whatever it is, there’s a mystery about which no investigation could shed light, why the astronauts all died smiling.

Bibliography ► (July 31, 2019). The Mystery of the 3 Astronauts Who Died Smiling. Recovered from