A former astronaut for NASA revealed the chances of a spaceflight mission suffering total destruction. The ex-astronaut also explained the worst type of scenario that NASA is worried about.

Mike Massimino started training for NASA’s astronaut program in 1996. During his time with the agency, he went on two spaceflight missions in 2002 and 2009. His first mission, which was aboard the Columbia spacecraft, took place a year before the same space shuttle got completed destroyed during its atmospheric entry. All seven crew members of the Columbia shuttle were killed in the incident.

According to Massimino, these are the types of risks involved in becoming an astronaut. He noted that NASA is very open to discussing these kinds of risks with its astronauts and personnel.

“Yes, I think they tried to be as accurate as they could about it,” he said according to Express. “I remember it because I flew on Columbia, the mission right before we lost Columbia, and then I flew again after on Atlantis, both shuttle flights.”

Massimino noted that NASA briefs its astronauts regarding the calculated chances of a total disaster scenario happening. This type of scenario involves losing both the crew and the spacecraft.

Based on the calculations by NASA, the chances of this kind of event happening are pretty big.

“It was one out of 75 and that meant total destruction, that’s loss of crew and vehicle,” Massimino explained. “Everyone’s dead and the vehicle can’t be used again.”

“There are other odds that may have been calculated, I hate to put it this way, but when we lost Columbia, we didn’t just lose our seven friends,” he added. “We also lost a spaceship.”

Aside from the deaths of astronauts as well as the complete loss of a spacecraft, Massimino noted that total destruction events can also affect the entire operations of a space program.

According to Massimino, NASA was able to calculate the odds of this kind of event based on the number of catastrophic accidents that occurred during the agency’s Space Shuttle program. In total, the program had 135 flights. Two of these, unfortunately, resulted in complete disasters. The first one happened in 1986 when the spacecraft Challenger broke apart mid-flight, killing all its crew members. The second one was the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

NASA space shuttle Atlantis
In this handout image provided by NASA, space shuttle Atlantis is seen in Earth orbit over the Bahamas just before docking for the last time with the International Space Station, July 10, 2011. NASA via Getty Images