NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A U.S. Navy parachutist slides down a telescopic pole to exit a C-141 aircraft during tests to evaluate escape systems for the space shuttle in preparation for the STS-26 mission, due to be launched in Autumn 1988. Trials were conducted on two possible escape systems for the shuttle; the telescopic pole and a tractor rocket extraction system. The telescopic pole was chosen after proving itself to be safer, lighter and more simple to operate & maintain than the tractor rocket. The unextended pole is made ready near the crew hatch prior to launch & landing and stowed on the mid-deck area ceiling during in-flight periods.
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