The only humans to have died in space likely bled from their ears and mouths over 60 seconds of consciousness.
Next week marks the 50 year anniversary of the Soyuz 11 disaster which killed Russian astronauts Georgy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev.
Exactly how they died remained a mystery in the US for another two years until confirmation of decompression ended the debate.
The tragic trio launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in modern-day Kazakhstan on 6 June 1971 in their Soyuz 7K-OKS spacecraft for the first-ever space station, SpaceCentre reports.
Their 23 days in orbit set a new record for the longest time humans have spent in space with all but one spent inside the Salyut 1 space station where they broadcast live for Moscow television.
All had proven to be a brilliant success as they showed off experiments and exercising on a treadmill until an electrical fire broke out at the station.
The fire was dealt with but the crew made their exit and descended for Earth on June 29.
Only when colleagues opened up the spacecraft on landing did they make the shocking discovery that all three of the men were dead inside.
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Little had been thought of lost communications as the Soyuz had appeared to land safely.
According to allthatsinteresting, it was later concluded that a ruptured breathing valve caused the men to die of decompression.
As air pressure suddenly plummeted the air in their lungs expanded and tore through the delicate tissue of the vital organs.
Swelling would have been caused by vaporised water in their soft tissues and as more gas and water vapour poured into the craft, their mouth and airways would have dropped in temperature.
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The excruciating pain to their chest, abdomen, and head and then ruptured eardrums would have been endured for about a minute until passing out.
During those 60 seconds, however, allthatsinteresting says blood would have streamed out of their ears and mouths as the drop in pressure exposed them to the vacuum of space.
The official autopsies from the Burdenko Military Hospital have remained classified.
While other astronauts have died either on the launch pad or during re-entry, the Soyuz 11 crew are the only people to have been struck dead by the extreme conditions of space.
The fact they were not wearing life-saving spacesuits at the time of the leak, sparked change as new protective gear was developed.
Mstislav Keldysh's State Commission acknowledges that the choice to stop wearing spacesuits had been a mistake, SpaceCentre reports.
On the SpaceCentre website, it says: "The National Space Centre pays tribute to the brave crew of Soyuz 11 and all the other pioneers who have been lost in the effort to explore space.
"Every June we remember their sacrifice and bravery, as we salute true heroes of space exploration."
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