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The Max Launch Abort System Launch Makes Me Want to Be an Astronaut Again

Illustration for article titled The Max Launch Abort System Launch Makes Me Want to Be an Astronaut Again

Looks like Flash Gordon came to Virginia this Wednesday. Here you have images and video of the spectacular Max Launch Abort System in action. Sadly, the spiffy spacecraft won't be in Orion. Maybe they can send me one to test.

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MLAS—named after Maxime Faget, the designer for the Aerial Capsule Emergency Separation Device in the Mercury program—is an alternative abort launch system concept developed by a team of NASA engineers, working in parallel with the Constellation program team. It won't replace the Orion abort system, however, but according to NASA this concept has serious potential for future missions:

MLAS is of potential interest because it is theorized to have aerodynamic performance benefits, weight savings and be relatively simple in some spacecraft applications. Much of the potential gains would be accomplished by eliminating the launch abort tower, which also means eliminating the attitude control motors.

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Illustration for article titled The Max Launch Abort System Launch Makes Me Want to Be an Astronaut Again

[NASA]

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DISCUSSION

GitEmSteveDave.com

JINX no like.

Can not cause thermal curtain failure and send Max to space!

JINX and Max, friends forever!

But seriously, was anyone else a little weirded out by the people going "Slow down, slow down"? They honestly sounded like the people I used to hear at model rocket launches.