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An accident is an unintended, normally unwanted event that was not directly caused by humans.

In the aerospace context, an accident refers to an unplanned event that results in injury, death, or damage to equipment or property. Accidents can occur during any stage of an aerospace operation, including during design, manufacturing, testing, maintenance, and flight.

Examples of accidents in the aerospace context include:

  • Airplane crashes: These occur when an airplane experiences a catastrophic failure during flight, resulting in injury or death to those on board. Examples include the crash of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 on September 11, 2001, as well as the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in 2014.

  • Spacecraft failures: These occur when a spacecraft experiences a malfunction or failure during its mission, resulting in the loss of the spacecraft or damage to its payload. Examples include the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters in 1986 and 2003, respectively.

  • Rocket failures: These occur when a rocket experiences a malfunction or failure during launch, resulting in the loss of the rocket or damage to its payload. Examples include the failure of SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket in 2008 and the failure of Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket in 2014.

  • Facility accidents: These occur when an accident occurs at an aerospace manufacturing or testing facility, resulting in injury or death to workers, or damage to equipment. Examples include the explosion at the SpaceX's Texas test facility in 2019.

  • Maintenance accidents: These occur when an accident occurs during maintenance procedures on an aircraft or spacecraft, resulting in injury or death to workers, or damage,

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