Shuttle Crew Escape Team Member - Blue Suit

The in-flight crew escape system is provided for use only when the orbiter would be in controlled gliding flight and unable to reach a runway. This condition would normally lead to ditching. The crew escape system provides the flight crew with an alternative to water ditching or to landing on terrain other than a landing site. The probability of the flight crew surviving a ditching is very slim.

The hardware changes required to the orbiters enable the flight crew to equalize the pressurized crew compartment with the outside pressure via the depressurization valve opened by pyrotechnics in the crew compartment aft bulkhead that would be manually activated by a flight crew member in the middeck of the crew compartment; pyrotechnically jettison the crew ingress/egress side hatch manually in the middeck of the crew compartment; and bail out from the middeck through the ingress/egress side hatch opening after manually deploying the escape pole through, outside and down from the side hatch opening. One by one, each flight crew member attaches a lanyard hook assembly, which surrounds the deployed escape pole, to his or her parachute harness and egresses through the side hatch opening. Attached to the escape pole, the crew member slides down the pole and off the end. The escape pole provides each crew member with a trajectory that takes the crew member below the orbiter's left wing.

There is also a red suited version of this Shuttle Crew Escape Team Member patch.

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