SOS: Astronauts can make a quick getaway via a zip line

The zip line is meant to quickly transport astronauts from the launch pad to a safe space about 1,300 feet away in the case of an emergency

As if astronauts didn't have a cool enough job already, they now get to also zoom down a zip line. Engineers at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station recently finished testing an exit system designed to quickly transport astronauts to safety in case of a launch emergency.

The zip line is being prepped for crew members of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner crew capsule, which will be launched toward the International Space Station atop the Atlas V rocket. The zip line begins 172 feet in the air, on top of a tower crew members will use to board the Starliner, and ends about 1,300 feet away.

It's made up of four cables. Each cable has five seats, meaning the system can transport up to 20 people at a time. After strapping in, riders control their speed by releasing pressure on the handles. Springs at the end of the line help to stop the rider if they forget to brake.

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Magdalena Petrova

IDG News Service
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