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NASA tests alternative launch abort system
Posted: Thu, Jul 9, 2009, 5:31 AM ET (0931 GMT)
MLAS test launch (NASA) NASA carried out a successful test of a proposed alternative launch abort system for its Orion spacecraft on Wednesday. The Max Launch Abort System (MLAS) test took place Wednesday at 6:26 am EDT (1026 GMT) from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Four solid rocket motors boosted a capsule mockup to an altitude of one mile, where it then deployed parachutes to descend to a splashdown. The system is an alternative to the launch abort system (LAS) currently being developed for Orion, using a escape tower similar to that used with early capsule designs. Data from the MLAS test, though, could support the development of the LAS and other Orion systems.
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