I read about the death of an astronaut in an exploding rocket; I don't know if it was recent or not.

Would the developers of this shuttle have been subject to any legal action, or would it be ignored as the astronaut knew the risks?

What if it was found that someone made a sloppy mistake, would that be gross negligence / manslaughter?

I know there was a dog that was left in space to die, did anyone face any form of action for that?

  • In what jurisdiction? Feb 10 '17 at 16:51
  • I don't understand what you mean by that - if country, the us, or the uk.
    – Tobi
    Feb 10 '17 at 18:10
  • Jurisdiction refers to which set of laws are used to answer the question. We could answer based on the UK's laws if you want; that's normally what would apply if the incident took place in the UK. For the US, there are federal laws, so "federal" is one jurisdiction, but each state has its own set of laws, so those are separate jurisdictions as well. So when you say "US or UK" you are really asking 1 + 50 + 1 = 52 separate questions - you have to be more specific than that. Feb 10 '17 at 18:27
  • The Soviet Union did not take any action against any person in the death of the first space dog, Laika. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laika
    – user662852
    Feb 10 '17 at 21:18

Astronauts are employees of the government and are thus barred from suing in lieu of receiving the government equivalent of worker's compensation. This wouldn't bar a suit against a third-party contractor who made a defective product, but I suspect that their contracts contain a waiver of liability for negligence or defective products given that this is highly experimental technology.

Certainly, it would not be homicide as it was an accidental death of someone who consented to the high risk of accidental death involved.

The dog would have been the property of the government, and the government wouldn't sue itself for damages to the dog. The harm that comes to animals in legitimate scientific research is not considered cruelty to animals as it is justified by a higher legitimate purpose and not for the intent of gratification of someone who enjoys torturing animals and would have been cleared by a scientific ethics committee in advance.

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