[/caption]When the Constellation Program is completed, we’ll have a brand new generation of rocket design (Ares) and a hi-tech space ship (Orion). It only seems fair that we should also have a new kind of emergency mechanism that will carry the crew to safety should a problem during launch threaten the astronauts.
Enter the Constellation Launch Abort System, delivering a million pounds of thrust, carrying the crew a mile from any danger. Looks like it would be one hell of a ride!
Last July, I reported that the first full-scale test firing of the Orion jettison motor was successful, and it would seem the tests are continuing. Lighting up the Utah landscape, the awesome power of the Launch Abort System is abundantly clear and it looks like we are well on the road to the full-scale launch abort mock-up.
In this latest series of tests, the jettison motor delivered a million pounds in thrust. This is impressive as it will quickly clear the crew of Orion from any accident during launch atop the largest rocket system designed since the Apollo Program. In fact, the Orion jettison system is an advancement of the original Apollo pad abort rocket (left).
The Constellation safety measure can be used should there be an emergency on the launch pad or as the Ares I blasts through the atmosphere. Although the experience would be a violent one (the G-force will be several times that of a normal shuttle launch), at least the crew will be carried to safety.