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October 24, 2018

October 24 is considered to be the black day in the history of Russian space exploration. On this date within three years period Russian cosmonautics faced two terrible accidents with heavy losses.
The first one happened in 1960 during the first launch of R-16 intercontinental ballistic missile. Second stage engine was accidentally ignited causing a fire and then a terrific explosion. 74 (according to various sources from 92 to 126) people met a horrible death in fiery hell the launchpad turned into. This accident is also called Nedelin catastrophe since Soviet Marshall Nedelin attending the launch also died then.
Three years after Baikonur faced another tragedy on this date. There was a fuel leak in the launch silo of R-9A, a small spark in the gassy silo caused a fire. 8 engineers died.
Since then no launches are planned for this date and more over no serious maintenance operations are accomplished.
October 24 is also considered to be as fallen rocket specialists memorial day.

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