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I'm surprised by that. They haven't lost a Soyuz crew since 1971, and they've flown quite a few.

(Soyuz capsules have had one or two pretty hard landings that I'm aware of. That's a failure mode that the newer capsules probably won't have.)




I can't quickly find a source, but back of the envelope is there have been 134 Soyuz manned missions. The number of people varies 1-3, most often 3 but occasionally 2. There were 135 Shuttle manned missions. Number there varied between 2-7, but ballpark looks like 6 was common.

So if we say 3 x 134 on Soyuz, there are 402 person-trips and 6 x 135 on Shuttle it is 810 person-trips. There were 4 Soyuz fatalities and 14 on the shuttle. So Soyuz fatality rate is about 1/100 and the shuttle is 1/56. So maybe it is closer to a factor 2 of difference.

The fatal mission rate is nearly identical (both have 2 fatal missions each).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_manned_space_m... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_manned_space_mi... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Space_Shuttle_missions




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