Martin EGRESS personal orbital escape system, based on the proven B-58 crew capsule
Status: Study 1972. Gross mass: 370 kg (810 lb). Height: 2.00 m (6.50 ft). Span: 2.00 m (6.50 ft).
The Martin Marietta EGRESS escape system was quite convincing since it was based on the proven Encapsulated Ejection Seat System developed by Stanley Aviation for the B-58 bomber in the 1960's. The capsules had already proven their capability of protecting the pilot from supersonic wind blast, supplying oxygen and pressurization at high altitude, executing automatic recovery, absorbing landing impact, and providing food, shelter and survival equipment whether landing on water, land, or ice.
For orbital applications the basic B-58 ejection capsule design was retained, while a new disc-shaped heat shield, reaction control system, and retrorocket were added for descent from orbit. The clamshell doors of the capsule were modified to include a window to allow the pilot to orient the craft for retrofire.
The three-piece telescoping clamshell door was pivoted on each side of the seat. The shells were stowed above the pilot's head. When the ejection handles were raised, the doors telescoped down in a quarter of a second and formed an air-tight seal. The closure of the doors activated the emergency oxygen flow. After re-entry, the capsule would separate from the heat shield. A recovery parachute automatically deployed at a pre-set altitude. Landing impact was absorbed by crushable cylinders and stabilization fins. When landing on water, flotation bags would inflate, turning the capsule into a life raft. Mass per crew: 370 kg.
Crew Size: 1.