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Emergency Egress Slide

The emergency egress slide provides the orbiter flight crew members with a rapid and safe emergency egress through the orbiter middeck ingress/egress side hatch after a normal opening of the side hatch or after jettisoning of the side hatch at the nominal end-of-mission landing site or at a remote or emergency landing site.

The emergency egress slide replaces the emergency egress side hatch bar, which required the flight crew members to drop approximately 10.5 feet to the ground. This drop could cause injury to the flight crew members and prevent an injured flight crew member from moving to a safe distance from the orbiter.

The emergency egress slide will support return-to-launch-site, transatlantic-landing, abort-once-around and normal end-of-mission landings.

The system will be activated manually by the flight crew rotating the slide from the middeck through the egress side hatch opening onto the side hatch if the hatch has not been jettisoned or through the egress side hatch opening if the hatch has been jettisoned. The flight crew pulls a lanyard to inflate the slide with a self-contained air bottle supply. The slide allows the safe egress of the flight crew members to the ground within 60 seconds after the side hatch is fully opened or jettisoned; accommodates the egress of the flight crew members wearing the launch and entry crew altitude protection system; accommodates the egress of incapacitated crew members; withstands and remains functional in the egress environment for a minimum of six minutes after deployment; and can be released from the side hatch to permit fire truck access.

The slide is installed inside the middeck below the side hatch where it will not inhibit ingress/egress when the system is not required and not interfere with normal on-orbit operations.

The egress slide contractor is Inflatable Systems Inc., a division of OEA, Denver, Colo.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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