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Rescue

MOOSE bailout

MOOSE bailout

In the early 1960's, in the hey-day of the X-20 Dynasoar, it seemed that the US military would naturally keep building military aerospacecraft that would just keep going higher and faster. It was also supposed that the pilot would have to be given the equivalent of an ejection seat - some means of bailing out of the spacecraft in case of catastrophic failure or enemy attack.

So it came to pass that a variety of foaming, inflatable, deployable systems were proposed - among them the famous General Electric MOOSE and the Space General FIRST. These gave the suited pilot the chance to step out into the void from a crippled craft, pull the ripcord, and manually cannonball or glide to the earth's surface.

In the late 1960's, when the Air Force ILRV and NASA Shuttle were being studied, these designs were revisited - now upgraded for three or more crew. In the end, they were not adopted - even after the Challenger disaster. Since the payload impact was not great, one can only suppose that the idea just seemed too fantastic to be really credible.

Here is the ultimate adventure awaiting some millionaire thrill seeker. The FAA may not approve, but how about strapping your fanny to some surplus Russian SLBM or developing country space launcher. A quick boost to orbit, a few photo opportunities, then the challenging retrofire and that long free fall or paraglide back to the earth.... As sports become ever more extreme and expensive, surely the next millennium will find the spaceways filled not with government employees but rather daredevils out for their Sunday adrenaline rush....



Subtopics

1 Crew Lifeboat American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1959. One crew lifeboat capsule, separable, not re-entry capable, short duration. Mass per crew 266 kg.

1 Crew Lifeboat Long Term American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1959. One crew lifeboat capsule, separable, not re-entry capable, long duration. For use on Mars/Venus expedition.

3 Crew Lifeboat Long Term American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1959. Three crew lifeboat capsule, separable, not re-entry capable, long duration. For use on Mars/Venus expedition. Mass per crew 511 kg.

3 Crew Lifeboat American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1959. Three crew bailout lifeboat separable, not re-entry capable, short duration. Mass per crew 239 kg.

1 Crew Ballistic Re-entry Capsule American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1960. One crew ballistic re-entry capsule. Orbital escape - no abort capability. Mass per crew 327 kg.

3 Crew Lifting Re-Entry Concept American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1960. Three crew lifting re-entry capsule. Orbital escape - no abort capability. Mass per crew 434 kg.

FIRST Re-Entry Glider American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1960. FIRST (Fabrication of Inflatable Re-entry Structures for Test) used an inflatable Rogallo wing for emergency return of space crew from orbit.

Advanced Manned System 1961 American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1961. Six crew ballistic re-entry capsule. Orbital escape - abort capability. Mass per crew 548 kg.

LEAP lunar flyer American manned lunar flyer. Study 1961. LEAP was an early 1960's British design for getting disabled astronauts on the lunar surface quickly to lunar orbit for ferrying home.

5 Crew Lifeboat American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1962. Five crew lifeboat capsule, separable, not re-entry capable, short duration. Mass per crew 284 kg.

Paracone American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1963. The Douglas Paracone was one of the most minimal schemes for bail-out from orbit. The objective was to hit a continental land mass; for such purposes totally manual re-entry operations were used.

10 Crew Shelter American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1963. Ten crew emergency shelter capsule, not separable, not re-entry capable, long duration. Mass per crew 301 kg.

MOOSE American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1963. MOOSE was perhaps the most celebrated bail-out from orbit system of the early 1960's. The suited astronaut would strap the MOOSE to his back, and jump out of the spacecraft or station into free space.

Re-Entry Escape System American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1963. One crew lifting re-entry capsule. No abort capability. Mass per crew 1171 kg.

GE Life Raft American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1966. The GE Life raft was a rigid unpressurized aeroshell. Three crew in space suits with parachutes would strap themselves into the seats.

Lockheed EEOED American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1966. Lockheed's EEOED was a three-crew Discovery-type re-entry vehicle.

Orbital Escape System American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1966.

SAVER American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1966. The Rockwell SAVER concept provided return of a single crew member in his ejection seat. A nose cap only the size of the seat absorbed most of the re-entry heat.

AIRMAT American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1968. Inflatable; space suits required; ejection seat; requires development of flexible heat shield and new materials. Mass per crew 570 kg.

Rib Stiffened Expandable Escape System American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1968. This Rockwell concept was stowed in a canister. In an emergency, the articulated rib-truss structure would be deployed into a mechanically rigid aeroshell shape.

ENCAP American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1970. The ENCAP encapsulated bailout-from-orbit concept consisted of a folded heat shield. The astronaut would exit his stranded spacecraft and strap into the seat.

EGRESS American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1972. The EGRESS space escape system was based on the proven Encapsulated Ejection Seat System developed for the B-58 bomber in the 1960's.

MOSES American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1975. The General Electric MOSES space rescue concept of the early 1980's took advantage of large re-entry capsules already developed for classified US military projects.

Northrop LBEC American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1976. Northrop, building on its work on the HL-10 and M2-F3 lifting bodies, proposed a lifting body three-crew lifeboat. The piloted spacecraft would use a parasail for recovery.

Rockwell SHS American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1976. The Rockwell Spherical Heat Shield escape concept used a return capsule shell like a Vostok capsule cut in half. Two crew could be returned in a pressurized environment. Mass per crew 220 kg.

Rescue Ball American manned rescue spacecraft. Study 1984. The Personal Rescue Enclosure (PRE) Rescue Ball was an 86 cm diameter high-tech beach ball for transport of astronauts from a spacecraft in distress to the space shuttle.

NASA ACRV American manned spaceplane. Assured Crew Return Vehicle or Astronaut Crew Rescue Vehicle. Study 1986. The early Space Station proposals assumed the facility would be equipped with a 'safe haven' where the crew would wait for a rescue Shuttle in case of emergency.

ESA ACRV European manned spacecraft. Study 1992. As Hermes gradually faded into oblivion, the European Space Agency started to take a closer a look at cheaper and less complicated manned space capsules.

X-38 American manned spaceplane. Lifting body reentry vehicle designed as emergency return spacecraft for International Space Station crew. Crew Return Vehicle prototypesatellite built by, Aerojet (DPS) for NASA.

IRDT Russian manned rescue spacecraft. Inflatable re-entry and descent technology vehicle designed to return payloads from space to the earth or another planet. Tested three times, with only one partially successful recovery.

IRDT 1, 2, 2R Inflatable heatshield technology satellite built by NPO Lavochkin for ESA, Russia. Launched 2000.



1960 During the Year - .
  • FIRST (Fabrication of Inflatable Re-entry Structures for Test) - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Rescue. Spacecraft: FIRST Re-Entry Glider.

    Aerojet project to evaluate the use of inflatable Rogallo wings for emergency return from orbit. The system would be stowed in a cylindrical package, docked to the external surface of a space station. In an emergency the escaping crew member would enter the coffin-sized cylinder, seal the back hatch, and be blown free of the station. The paraglider would then inflate and deploy. The crew member would use a gas stabilisation and control system to orient the spacecraft for retro-fire, and then to keep the glider at the correct attitude for re-entry.


1963 October 9 - .
  • Douglas Paracone "flying carpet" escape system from orbital space stations. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Rescue. Spacecraft: Paracone.

    A 'flying carpet' escape system from orbital space stations had been proposed by Douglas Aircraft Company. The escape system would be a saucer shape that would expand into a blunt-nosed, cone- shaped vehicle 7.6 m across at its base. The vehicle would act as its own brake as it passed through the atmosphere. Reentry heating problems would be met by using fabrics woven with filaments of nickel-based alloys.


1992 April 23 - .
  • Spacewedge 1 first flight - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Rescue. Spacecraft: X-38.

    NASA researchers conducted a flight test program to develop the Spacewedge vehicle design. The first test vehicle (Wedge 1) was just four ft long, and weighed 120 lb. It was initially launched from a hillside near Tehachapi; the test program then moved to Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards AFB, and to a sport parachute (Skydive) drop zone at California City, CA.


1992 June 10 - .
  • Spacewedge 2 first flight - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Rescue. Spacecraft: X-38.

    A second vehicle to test autonomous parasail spacecraft recovery was fabricated with the same external geometry and weight as Wedge 1. It was dropped from a Cessna U-206 and a Rans S-12 ultralight. A total of 36 flight tests were made, the last taking place on February 12, 1993. These flights verified the manual control and autonomous landing systems of the vehicle. Phase II of the program ran from March 1993 to March 1995, and encompassed 45 flights.


1995 June 14 - .
  • Spacewedge 3 first flight - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft Bus: Rescue. Spacecraft: X-38.

    Phase III, encompassing 34 flights, evaluated the Precision Guided Airdrop Software (PGAS) system using Wedge 3 from June 14, 1995 to November 20, 1996. Researchers used Wedge 3 to develop a guidance system to be used by the Army for precision offset cargo delivery. The Wedge 3 vehicle was 4 ft long, and was dropped at weights varying from 127 to 184 lb. Unlike Wedges 1 and 2, its flight objectives were not tied to the terminal recovery of a space vehicle, and it was not called a Spacewedge. (There was also a fourth wedge, but it never flew and served only as backup hardware to Wedge 3.)


1996 November - .
  • X-38 Rollout - . Nation: USA. Program: ISS. Spacecraft Bus: Rescue. Spacecraft: X-38. Roll out of first of two slightly subscale 7.31 m long atmospheric test vehicles for use in parafoil landing tests was in November 1996..

1998 March 12 - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Edwards.
  • X-38 V-131 Flight 1 - . Nation: USA. Program: ISS. Spacecraft Bus: Rescue. Spacecraft: X-38. After dropping away from its B-52 mothership, the X-38 deployed a ram-air parafoil, and maneuvered to a precise landing on the Edwards Air Force Base bombing range..

1999 March 5 - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Edwards.
  • X-38 V-132 Flight 1 - . Nation: USA. Program: ISS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft Bus: Rescue. Spacecraft: X-38.

    X-38 atmospheric test vehicle V-132 was dropped from carrier plane NB-52 # 8 at 16:17 GMT. The V-132 subscale version of the X-38 successfully deployed its parafoil and glided to a landing on the lakebed after a 9 minute flight. V-132 tested the rudders and flaps; the simpler V-131, which made two drop tests earlier, tested the parafoil control system.


2000 February 8 - . 23:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-U-PVB.
  • IRDT - . Mass: 110 kg (240 lb). Nation: Russia. Agency: ESA. Manufacturer: Lavochkin bureau. Class: Technology. Type: Re-entry test vehicle. Spacecraft Bus: Rescue. Spacecraft: IRDT. COSPAR: 2000-009x. Apogee: 613 km (381 mi). Perigee: 580 km (361 mi). Inclination: 64.8545 deg. Period: 96.53 min.

    After four orbits around the Earth the test vehicle was powered by the launcherís upper stage to re-enter the atmosphere for a landing about 1800 km northwest of the launch site. The heat shield was inflated and the IRDT separated from the upper stage. It then passed through the upper atmospheric layers that imposed the highest dynamic pressure, heat flux and acceleration loads onto the system. The IRDT landed inside the predicted area at 54 deg E and 51 deg N near the Kazakhstan border. Unfortunately, a tear occurred in the inflatable shield during descent resulting in a higher velocity and a heavier than expected impact on landing, resulting in some damage to the lower part of the IRDT. The IRDT was collected by helicopter so that the memory unit of the sensor package, with all recorded data, could be analysed. An initial data check confirmed that all experiments in the sensor package worked perfectly.


2000 November 2 - . Launch Site: Edwards. Launch Complex: Edwards.
  • X-38 V-131R drop-tested over Edwards AFB. - . Nation: USA. Program: ISS. Spacecraft Bus: Rescue. Spacecraft: X-38. The first space flight by X-38 vehicle V-201 was scheduled for 2002 at the time of this test; later ISS budget cutbacks would impact this plan..


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