SpaceX builds a life-saving slide for emergency evacuation of astronauts: video

SpaceX is currently in the final stage of certification of the second space launch pad. Its commissioning will help reduce the congestion of the cosmodrome and expand the company’s ability to send astronauts into space.

So far, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has had only one pad certified to launch crewed missions –Launch Complex 39A. But having a new launch site gives NASA and SpaceX more flexibility when planning missions, reducing the workload on the team. SpaceX plans to upgrade the second pad, SLC-40 (Pad 40) at Cape Canaveral, to increase the launch capabilities of manned missions.

Last autumn, SpaceX installed an arm for crew access to the launch tower on the SLC-40. This is a key part of the infrastructure that allows astronauts to occupy seats in the Dragon spacecraft. In addition, a new system for rapid emergency evacuation of the crew was installed in case of unforeseen problems that pose a risk to life. 

“The system, which is essentially a long orange slide that stretches from the crew tower to the ground, will help SpaceX “scale to bigger towers and spaceships,” said Kiko Dontchev, vice president of launches.

During the integration of the Pad 40 for SpaceX manned launches, Daniel Forrestal, head of launch integration in NASA’s commercial crew program, noted: “Ten years ago, we wouldn’t even have dreamed of this. One of the biggest limitations for the launch was the availability of the site. After all, here on the Space Coast and in Kennedy, business develops thanks to SpaceX and other companies that conduct launches. The conversion of the SLC-40 pad provides us with more flexibility.”

Earlier, we reported on the successes and failures of the new Starship trial.

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