Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  [SLS] MRAP vehicles replace M-113 escape vehicles

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   [SLS] MRAP vehicles replace M-113 escape vehicles
tetrox
Member

Posts: 106
From: London England
Registered: Jan 2008

posted 01-28-2014 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tetrox   Click Here to Email tetrox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking through the Kennedy Space Center website, it would seem that the M-113 tracked emergency escape vehicles, which have been used since the earliest manned launches, are to be replaced with new wheeled replacements.
Emergency Egress Vehicle Arrives at Kennedy Space Center

With crewed launches on NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft fast approaching, the Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program at Kennedy Space Center led the effort to select an emergency egress vehicle that future astronauts could quickly use to leave the Launch Complex 39 area in case of an emergency. The first of four refurbished Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles was shipped from the U.S. Army Red River Depot in Texarkana, Texas, and arrived at the center Dec. 5.

During crewed launches, the MRAP will be stationed by the slidewire termination area at the pad. In case of an emergency, the crew will ride a slidewire to the ground and immediately board the vehicle for safe egress from the pad. The existing bunkers around the pads would be used only if evacuation was not possible.

All four vehicles were transferred from the army at no cost to NASA. As each one arrives, they will be processed in and then transported to the Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility near the Vehicle Assembly Building for temporary storage. The vehicles will undergo some modifications to meet NASA's emergency egress requirements.

Danny Zeno, a GSDO operations integration engineer, led a two-year study of several emergency egress concepts with a team of people from NASA centers and programs. The team selected the slidewire system and the army's MRAP Caiman, a military vehicle that was used for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The study team included representatives from Kennedy, Johnson Space Center's Flight Crew Office, NASA Headquarters, Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA Protective Services, Engineering, Safety and Mission Assurance, Ground Processing, SLS, Orion, and several contractor organizations.

"This is definitely an upgrade from the space shuttle-era M-113 tank design," said Zeno. "Working across agencies helped us to select the most versatile vehicle possible for NASA's purpose."

The MRAPs have increased operability, field of vision and capacity, and can travel at speeds up to 65 mph. They are driven like other common vehicles with a normal front view, except the windows are four inches thick. Inside, the closed and sealed environment contains fold-down chairs for up to eight passengers.

The 40,000-pound, heavy-duty vehicles will provide protection against chemicals and projectiles that could be carried through the air during a catastrophic event at the pad.

"We're in line with NASA's philosophy of saving money and acquiring a multiuse vehicle that also could be used by our Commercial Crew Program partners," said Tom Hoffmann, a GSDO operations integration engineer and member of the study team.

Currently, two URS Federal Services workers on the Institutional Services Contract have been trained to operate the MRAP. Zeno said there are plans to set up training scenarios for the SLS Program similar to those that were used to teach operators to handle the M-113.

p51
Member

Posts: 949
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 01-28-2014 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I’m not impressed, as a wheeled vehicle might not make it out of a nasty situation where stuff is burning. I was involved in some of the testing for the vehicle that became the MRAP when I was still an Army officer. MRAPs also tend to be top-heavy in some cases, far more so than the low-slung 113.

I think this has more to do with supply channels and how it's tougher to find people who can work on them than it is getting the right vehicle for the job.

Frankly, I always wondered why they never used amphibious tracked vehicles due to all the water and swamp land around the pads.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28944
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-20-2014 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Additional views of NASA's new Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protection, or MRAP, vehicles, including a look at the interior. (Photos credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1092
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 02-20-2014 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
Frankly, I always wondered why they never used amphibious tracked vehicles due to all the water and swamp land around the pads.
Hey, it didn't cost NASA a penny to acquire them. Better than a study, a custom-made vehicle, etc. — five years later... they don't work!

p51
Member

Posts: 949
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 02-20-2014 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wasn't thinking of a custom made anything, the military has had effective amphibious, tracked, troop-carrying vehicles since WW2.

Lots of stuff like this used by the Marine Corps since 1942 would have been just fine for this duty, far more so than any wheeled vehicle. Heck, I personally got one of the MRAP prototypes stuck on a test course one time, in beach sand covered in grass. Guess what we had to use to get the thing out? You got it, the thing had tracks!

PeterO
Member

Posts: 229
From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 02-20-2014 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This MRAP appears to be a Caiman 6x6 MRAP BAE Systems Personnel Carrier. Unfortunately there aren't any model kits of this version. Come on Tamiya, Dragon or AFV Club, get a move on!

dabolton
Member

Posts: 273
From: Minooka IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 02-23-2014 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would the shock wave from an on-pad explosion be enough to topple these vehicles?

PeterO
Member

Posts: 229
From: Rochester, NH
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 02-23-2014 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I imagine the MRAP would be positioned head-on to the launch pad, so it would present the minimal cross-section, and not be susceptible to rollover. It weighs about 18,000kg, so even if it was parked side-on, it would be difficult to roll.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2014 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement