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RSC Energia tests rappelling device for Orel CTS

June 5, 2020

Engineers-testers of the spaceflight center of RSC Energia (a part of the State Corporation Roscosmos) have tested a new rappelling device for the advanced Crew Transportation Spacecraft (CTS) Orel. Training sessions took place in the V.D.Vachnadze Center for Technology Development and Personnel Training of the RSC Eneriga Experimental Machine-building Plant which has a mockup of CTS.

Using the rappelling device, the crew will be able to egress without assistance in case of a water landing, as well as in cases where the search and rescue team is not able to arrive promptly. Taking part in the experiment were eight engineers-testers, including two experienced pilot-cosmonauts, heroes of Russia Alexander Kaleri and Yuri Usachev.

The tests were conducted in two stages: first each engineer-tester tried the rappelling device at a slow pace, and then the action was practiced wearing spacesuits, having broken up the team into crews.

For example, in case of the CTS landing on water, it might be necessary to egress from the spacecraft not from the side hatch, but rather from the top one. In that case one would have to use the rappelling device, explained pilot-cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri. Jumping into water wearing a spacesuit is dangerous, one might hit against the side of the spacecraft. The rappelling device will also come in handy in case of the nominal vertical landing of the spacecraft on its legs.

Soyuz does not use any rappelling device because the spacecraft is not tall and has one hatch. A similar device was used on Space Shuttles, said Yuri Usachev who twice flew on the US spacecraft to the International Space Station.

At present the RSC Energias engineers-testers are tasked with finding out advantages and disadvantages of different rappelling systems. Next in line is conducting extended tests of the selected device and writing for it a step-by-step user manual for the crew.

 

 

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