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SpaceX tested astronaut slidewire escape baskets and fire suppression capabilities Friday at launch pad 39A in Florida, demonstrating rescue systems that would be activated in the event of an emergency before liftoff of a crewed mission.
This video shows emergency escape baskets sliding down a cable on the west side of pad 39A. The baskets could be used by astronauts and ground teams to quickly get away from dangerous conditions on the launch pad in case of a pre-launch accident with the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The baskets are modified from the space shuttle program. Each can carry three people, and they would whisk launch pad personnel to an armored vehicle called an MRAP parked on the western perimeter of the pad. Ground teams and astronauts could then drive the MRAP to safety.
The escape plan is similar to the one employed during the space shuttle program, but the baskets have been modified and placed at the 265-foot-level on the tower at pad 39A, 70 feet higher than ...