In case of emergency situations, NASA astronomers developed a zip safety system which could help astronomers evacuate space shuttles faster. Astronauts may find themselves in difficult circumstances, and they may need to evacuate the Atlas V rocket and a Boeing Starliner at Launch Complex 41. Then, they will immediately fly a quarter-mile to a safe area on a zip line developed in the same way to the ones used by tourists.
NASA scientists developed of zip safety system for astronauts
The crew will need to buckle up in an individual orange seat equipped with harnesses. They will release the brakes to enable the 172-foot drop. They will accelerate to over 40 mph while they zip away at about 1,350 feet from the launching pad in only 30 seconds. Gary Wentz, the vice president of Human and Commercial Services at United Launch Alliance, stated that irrespective of the fact that it is a ground crew or a flight on, if something happens and they need to evacuate the tower, then they can use the zip safety system to get away.
This was formally named an “emergency egress system” where the zip line was installed and tested at Launch Complex 41, anticipating the moment when NASA astronauts will start missions to the International Space Station in 2018. They will embark on Boeing Starliner capsules which will be developed by the Commercial Crew Program of the agency.
The zip lines will be used in case of difficult situations
The first test flight with a crew was scheduled for August 2018. Boeing and ULA analyzed other options like a gondola or a rollercoaster track, but they determined that the Terra-Nova zip lines developed in Utah provided the best safety. Every year, approximately 1 million people ride Terra-Nova zip-lines, but also the longest zip line in the world of 1.5 miles located in Mexico.
Boeing and ULA officials revealed another Terra-Nova zip line located somewhere near Royal George, before the opening of the 33rd National Space Symposium this week, taking place in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There, visitors were bound to fly high over the Arkansas River. Wentz argued that if people are usually letting their children experience this kind of zip riders, then they are safe for sure and they can easily use this for astronauts, saving them in case of tough situations.
Image courtesy of: flickr