NASA Launch Tests Alternate Concept for Astronaut Escape System

Jun 04, 2009

NASA's Max Launch Abort System, or MLAS, is scheduled to be tested June 15 at the agency's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. The launch window extends from approximately 5:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. EDT.

The unpiloted test is part of an effort to design a system for safely propelling future and crews away from hazards on the pad or during the climb to orbit. This system was developed as an alternative concept to the launch abort system chosen for NASA's Orion crew capsule. Orion, part of a new spacecraft system being developed by NASA's Constellation Program, is undergoing design reviews in preparation for flying humans to the in 2015 and, later, to the moon.

MLAS is being tested to provide experience in flight testing a spacecraft to NASA's Engineering and Safety Center, which leads the project from NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The 33-foot-high MLAS vehicle will be launched to an altitude of approximately one mile to simulate an emergency on the . A full-scale mockup of the crew module will separate from the launch vehicle and parachute into the Atlantic Ocean.

Provided by NASA

Explore further: SpaceX launches supplies to space station

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Prepares for First Unmanned Test of Orion

Mar 12, 2008

Returning humans to the moon by 2020 may seem like a distant goal, but NASA's Constellation Program already has scheduled the first test flight toward that goal to take place in less than 12 months.

NASA, ATK Successfully Test First Orion Launch Abort Motor

Nov 21, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Flames shot more than 100 feet high in a successful 5.5-second ground test firing Thursday, Nov. 20, of a launch abort motor for NASA's next generation spacecraft, the Orion crew exploration vehicle. NASA ...

Astronauts to Ride Rails in Emergency

Oct 04, 2007

As NASA revamps Launch Complex 39B to host the new Orion spacecraft and Ares I rocket of the Constellation Program, engineers are preparing to install a new kind of departure system to evacuate astronauts.

Recommended for you

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

59 minutes ago

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

3 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

The importance of plumes

3 hours ago

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

Ceres and Vesta Converge in Virgo

6 hours ago

Don't let them pass you by. Right now and continuing through July, the biggest and brightest asteroids will be running on nearly parallel tracks in the constellation Virgo and so close together they'll easily ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...