Personal Spaceflight: How Safe Need it Be?
Commercial Space Gateway
I was fascinated recently to learn about Robert Talmage, President of TAAS Company in Acworth, GA, and patent holder for an Aircraft Escape Cabin (AEC) designed for use on high-performance aircraft and space planes. His goal is to develop a practical and reliable escape system for vehicles traveling at very high speeds and at altitudes between about 225 meters and low Earth orbit. His business plan includes validating the AEC concept using a modified Learjet as a flight test platform and subsequently for development and testing support of new efficient propulsion systems ideally suited for aircraft style operations.
The Aircraft Escape Cabin (AEC) is mounted to the parent vehicle via a slide system and plug-in devices that mechanically disconnect all interfaces when an emergency air-bag is activated. When the AEC separates from the vehicle, its built-in canards act as mini-wings to stabilize flight and glide. Under crew control or by remote control, the AEC can glide to the closest or optimal landing site (depending on altitude). At an appropriate altitude, a ballistic parachute system is triggered which has been well-proven as a recovery system for small aircraft moving at lower speeds. This allows the AEC to parachute safely onto land or water. Since the AEC is pressurized, it will float on water and protect the occupants until rescued.
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