SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Escape tower. Close-up view of the escape tower used on a Russian Soyuz rocket. The escape tower is a rocket-propelled device designed to pull the manned capsule away from an emergency situation just before or shortly after launch. The tower fitted to Soyuz spacecraft has been used just once, when the rocket carrying the Soyuz-10 spacecraft caught fire seconds before launch on September 26, 1983. The escape tower pulled the capsule clear of the ensuing explosion, saving the lives of the two cosmonauts on board. Photographed in 1969.
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