Artist’s conception of CST-100 in flight, showing Launch
Abort Engines on the aft side of the service module.
(Credit: Boeing)

Commercial Crew Companies Pursue Innovative Abort Technologies

Posted by Doug Messier on December 14, 2012, at 4:38 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NASA PR) –Many human spacecraft -— Mercury, Apollo, Russia’s Soyuz, and China’s Shenzhou — include tower abort systems that “pull” the crewed capsule away from a failing rocket. Although its design has proven to be reliable, it comes with inefficiencies. Rather than depending on this heritage design, NASA’s commercial crew partners are developing innovative alternative approaches that not only will allow crews to reliably escape from a launch vehicle accident, but also should prove less costly for missions to low-Earth orbit.

Previous and existing abort systems consist of independent rockets and thrusters that extend above a capsule. Used only during an emergency abort, these systems provide the thrust needed to rapidly remove a crewed capsule from the dangerous vicinity of a rocket accident and orient the capsule for a controlled descent and landing.

Read more: Commercial Crew Companies Pursue Innovative Abort Technologies | Parabolic Arc.

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