NASA checks battle vans as astronaut escape automobiles
If one thing goes catastrophically fallacious throughout one in every of NASA’s upcoming business spacecraft launches, the crew might want to get away from the launchpad — and quick. However they will not be doing so within the lumbering previous M113 Armored Personnel Carriers that they used through the Shuttle period. Heck no; if these Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected automobiles are ok for the LAUSD, they’re rattling properly appropriate for our astronauts.
The MRAP is a forty five,000 pound beast of a truck that was initially designed to ferry troops via warfare zones with out worry of IEDs (roadside bombs) or ambushes. Now, NASA needs to make use of them as cellular fallout shelters ought to issues go sideways throughout a launch sequence. The closely armored automobiles might not look it, however they’re surprisingly nimble with a 50 MPH prime velocity. Actually, throughout current testing forward of the deliberate begin of the Business Crew Program in 2017, NASA engineers discovered that a absolutely-laden MRAP was truly a bit faster than that they had calculated.
“Figuring out how lengthy it takes to get an individual from the pad to the place it is going to be protected is essential in our danger discount for the crew,” Steve Payne of Business Crew, stated in a press release. “You possibly can draw strains on a map all you need, however till you get out and run the course in actual-life circumstances, you do not know. You assume you understand, however you do not know.” What’s extra, as a result of the MRAP may be pushed like a daily truck relatively than a tank — as is the case with the M113 — anyone from the crew or help workforce can function it in a pinch.