This happened to the Space Shuttle "Challenger" in 1986. The O-ring gasket could not withstand the pressure being exerted upon it and ripped. This allowed excess fuel to come rushing out and ultimately engulfed the ship in flames leading to a terrible explosion that killed 7 astronauts.

Actually, to be precise, the O-ring didn't rip. Unbeknowst to the designers and engineers at Morton Thiokol (producers of the SRBs) the material used in the O-rings, while elastic by design to allow it to seal a flexible joint, stiffened and became brittle at extremely low temperatures. The Shuttle had been on the pad during an extremely cold rainstorm and cold temperatures before launch. The 'best guess' from the evidence is that an O-ring failed after it was subjected to the shrinkage and embrittlement caused by the cold when enough pressure was placed on it by the rocket exhaust.

Richard P. Feynman advanced this theory to the investigating committee by dunking an O-ring into a pitcher of ice water, and then when the subject came up he removed it and snapped it in his hands.

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