SpaceX is set to blast off a crew capsule on May 6 to test an astronaut rescue system designed to save lives in case of an emergency in a human spaceflight.
The Dragon capsule with a dummy astronaut named Buster is ready to be blasted from a platform at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida after 7 a.m. EDT [Eastern Daylight Time].
In 1986, Challenger accident occurred during liftoff and in 2003 Columbia disaster happened during the re-entry. Due to there was no way to escape, each time seven astronauts died.
Nasa’s early Mercury and Apollo spacecraft had launch escape systems. The first four space shuttle flights also had ejection seats for the two-man crews, but those seats were removed as the crew numbers grew.
The Russian Soyuz spacecraft have long had escape backup in case of a rocket explosion or fire at the pad. The system saved two cosmonauts’ lives in 1983.
That's why, the ability to abort from a launch or pad emergency and safely carry crew members out of harm's way is a very important issue for NASA's next generation spacecrafts.