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Questions tagged [launch-escape-system]

A Launch Escape System (LES) is a system connected to the crew module of a manned spacecraft. It is used to quickly separate the crew module from the rest of the launch vehicle in case of emergency (such as an explosion of the rocket).

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How safe are launch escape systems?

Are there any published numbers for any crew vehicle for the probability of LOC (loss of crew) given the launch escape system has been activated? I am interested in both design goal numbers and ...
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Why not turn off the main engines while using the launch escape system on liquid fuelled engines?

I've seen a couple of launch escape systems firing and the rockets main engines are on, isn't it more safe if you turn off the engines? Edit: i agree that the engines turning off might be not so ...
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Does a launch escape system have any lateral propulsion?

Many manned spacecraft have had an "escape tower" to propel the crew capsule safely beyond the booster, if an abort is needed. What prevents the booster from simply continuing into the path of the ...
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Was the LES used in the MS-10 abort?

I can find no clear information regarding the use of the launch escape system in today's Soyoz MS-10 abort-to-ground. The failure seems to occur just as LES jettison is scheduled to take place. The ...
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Why is ISRO Launch Escape System so SLOW?

I've just watched a video of the recent test and one thing I noticed is that comparing to other LES, like Mercury, Dragon, Soyuz, it looks really sluggy - like it has like 1.3-1.5 TWR. For pad abort, ...
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Does Soyuz LES take the service module?

During Jettisonable Emergency Escape Head Section abort mode, the head section of the rocket is separated and pulled away by OGB SAS (the escape tower) to safety away from the malfunctioning lower ...
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Why didn't Saturn V have grid fins? Long March and Soyuz do!

From the question What are these four “waffle-like” structures on top of the Long March 2F just launched? and @RussellBorogove's answer there we can see that the Long March 2F carrying the Shenzhou-11 ...
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Why are launch escape towers jettisoned early?

Why are launch escape towers usually jettisoned fairly early in the flight? What if a problem went wrong during an upper stage burn and the escape tower had already been jettisoned? I know that ...
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How would a landing escape system be designed? [duplicate]

Launch escape systems have been used for half a century and have worked great when tried. But entering Earth's atmosphere from orbit and landing is at least as dangerous to astronauts, and have cause ...
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Were ejection seats on the Space Shuttle a practical safety system?

The first four STS missions were flown by Columbia with two pilots and had ejection seats as an option. These seats were eventually disabled (by STS 5) and removed (by STS-61-C). They could only be ...
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How did the attitude system of the uncrewed Soyuz 7K-OK No.1 fail on the launch pad in 1966, killing ground staff as LES was activated?

Wikipedia has a stub article on the loss of the Soyuz 7K-OK No.1 test flight in 1966-12-14, but this part doesn't make sense to me: However, once the Soyuz rocket's engines ignited, they did not ...
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Can a crewed capsule land safely if its launch escape tower does not separate?

Apollo, Soyuz and Orion have used, are using or will use launch escape towers. If it is not needed, it must separate during flight. What if it does not separate? I suppose that the spacecraft would ...
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Why were ejection seats used in Project Gemini instead of a tower escape system?

In Project Gemini, the Titan II GLV space rocket used as fuel hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, so safety concerns over its toxic propellants were present. But along with the special care that was ...
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When have astronauts been launched without launch escape system (tower)?

The Vostok spacecraft used by Yuri Gagarin seems to have had an "ejection seat". The Soyuz launcher has an escape tower, which at least once saved its crew. The space shuttle of course did not have ...
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Could the Apollo lunar ascent stage have separated from the descent stage before touchdown in an emergency?

In case the Apollo Lunar module had approached the landing site at way too high velocity, could the ascent stage have separated and returned to the command module before a crash? Thus performing a ...
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What exactly does it mean to human-rate a rocket? As opposed to the escape system?

The escape system is that thin pointy part at the very top of the rocket. It has powerful solid rockets that basically act as an "ejection seat" for the entire crew capsule. So when we talk about "...
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Has a pad abort ever been done on an actual launch?

In light of the recent SpaceX Dragon test, I was wondering if any pad aborts have ever been performed during an actual launch? To my limited knowledge, none have occurred, despite the Soyuz and Apollo ...
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Why was Dragon sent to the isolation room?

I'm asking about this photograph that was published on SpaceX Flickr photostream, which I also noticed in a few recent articles (e.g. this one) about the upcoming Crew Dragon pad abort test: SpaceX ...
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Why did SpaceX choose to use Hydrazine over newer “green” propellants for Dragon 2?

Firstly, I understand the need to use hypergolics over cryogenics as part of Dragon 2's abort and landing sequence - they provide "instant on" thrust and are throttlable with very wide margins (...
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How hard is it on the crew to go through the 14+ g's of a launchpad abort of the Soyuz, or the Falcon system?

It's only for 5 seconds, but that is an awful lot of force. The Falcon system is similar and presumably also involves very high-g forces. Could injury result from the abort itself in either case?
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Will the EFT-1 mission for Orion carry an escape tower?

December 2014 is the scheduled date for the Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) mission of the Orion space capsule. It will be launched on a Delta IV Heavy rocket as a surrogate for the unavailable SLS ...
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Why is the descent module of the Soyuz in the middle of its stack?

The Soyuz is made up of three major components/modules. The Orbital module on top, basically a sphere, which is basically extra room, and contains the toilet, which allows for some modicum of ...
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Are there any Pusher Launch Escape Systems in actual use?

Previous manned spaceflight vehicles, that had a Launch Escape System (Excluding you space shuttle!) usually seemed to favor the notion of a tractor (Puller) style LES. That is, the manned module ...
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Why don't unmanned launch vehicles include launch escape system for payload?

Mention of Launch Escape System (LES) brings to mind images of the crew on board a spacecraft ejecting at launch; the crew being the most valuable cargo on board. Launch vehicles may also be unmanned,...
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What kind of launch escape system (LES) does Dream Chaser have?

What kind of launch escape system will be aboard Dream Chaser?
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Why didn't the Space Shuttle have a launch escape system?

Since the very beginning of space exploration, rockets had some sort of Launch Escape System (LES). From this Wikipedia article, we know that Mercury and Apollo had an escape tower, while Vostok and ...