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NASA Tests Alternative Escape Pod

8 Jul 2009, 14:23 UTC
NASA Tests Alternative Escape Pod NASA
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While the Constellation program is undergoing design reviews, NASA conducted a successful test on an alternative abort system for the Orion spacecraft to provide options and additional data on how to best protect astronauts in the event of a problem on the launch pad or during ascent. A simulated launch of the Max Launch [...]

Launch of the MLAS at Wallops Island on Wednesday. Credit: NASA
While the Constellation program is undergoing design reviews, NASA conducted a successful test on an alternative abort system for the Orion spacecraft to provide options and additional data on how to best protect astronauts in the event of a problem on the launch pad or during ascent. A simulated launch of the Max Launch Abort System, or MLAS, took place Wednesday morning at 6:26 a.m. EDT at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. The 10 meter high (33-feet) MLAS vehicle was launched to an altitude of about 1.5 km (1 mile)to simulate an emergency on the launch pad. A mock-up of the Orion crew vehicle successfully separated from the launch vehicle seven seconds into the flight and parachuted into the Atlantic Ocean. While there were some concerns about the various pieces of the ...

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