- Inbound from space, a fast moving rocket ship noses down toward the earth, its crew alert – as always – for signs of danger. Disaster wont’ occur often on space, but rocketeers will be prepared: most of the paraphernalia shown in the cutaway sections of artist Fred Freeman’s picture is emergency equipment. To see how it is used, turn to Emergency!
- In emergency (as when broken porthole lets cabin pressure escape, as pictured), crew and passengers press buttons on chair arms; contour seats straighten automatically, capsules clap shut, seal. Capsules are connected to cabin pressure system, also have own pressure for bail-out. To abandon ship, men push another button. Capsules, guided by rails, are ejected by powder charge, drop safely into ocean with men inside. When possible, men will remain in ship, operating controls from within capsules, until they are close enough to earth to land normally.
- Emergency capsule is ejected from rocket ship with crewman inside, drops into sea. Speed is slowed by metal chute, impact is cushioned by small rocket in capsule base. The picture shows radar-equipped plane, rescue vessels converging on area to pick up crew members, two being slowed by rockets, and one (foreground) still so high rocket hasn’t blasted yet. Cutaway shows man in capsule, strapped to contour chair, with rocket and frozen under feet. Metal arms on base guide capsule during ejection.
How Man will Meet Emergency in Space Travel.
Collier’s, March 14, 1953
Image credit: Collier’s
Image source: AIAA Houston