Space Rescue pp 179-235 | Cite as

Launch escape, 2: Ejection seats

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


A second mode of escape during ascent has been used on two capsule programs—the Soviet Vostok and American Gemini spacecraft. In addition, the development of ejection seats for rocket research aircraft and spaceplanes has been utilized for the Space Shuttle designs. In the American Shuttle Program this only supported the Approach and Landing Test and Orbital Flight Test program, was made inert for the first operational shuttle fight (STS-5) and removed altogether after the flight. They have never been reinstalled on any of the Orbiters. There were plans for the Soviet Buran shuttle and European Hermes spaceplane to feature ejection seats but these never progressed to operational use. In addition, a unique series of launch abort modes have been developed to support Shuttle flight operations where ejection seats and escape systems are not viable.


Test Program Aerospace Technology Space Shuttle Unique Series Flight Operation 
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© Praxis Publishing Ltd, Chichester, UK 2009

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