Black Friday Is Almost Here!
The Inventory team is rounding up deals you don’t want to miss, now through Cyber Monday. Click here to browse!

Why NASA Is Doing Time-Trials With MRAP Battle Trucks

Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

NASA is looking to swap their old M113 armored astronaut taxis for surplus Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) trucks that are retiring from combat duty. And no, they don’t need all that bombproofing just to look cool.

Advertisement

The space agency is hoping to get its Commercial Crew Program up and running by 2017 with the intention of “achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit.” That means a lot more people could be going into space, and the formerly warfighting trucks would be designated as escape vehicles in the event of a launchpad disaster.

Commercial Crew Program representative Steve Payne seemed happy with the MRAP’s performance. “it was a lot smoother... [and] a lot more comfortable inside than we expected,” he says in the video. He also explained purpose of their time-trials exercise to Engadget: “Knowing how long it takes to get a person from the pad to where it will be safe is critical in our risk reduction for the crew.”

Advertisement

The MRAP actually has a lot going for it in this application. Since it’s specifically designed to withstand explosive blasts, it should be pretty resilient to something like a launch blast. But unlike the treaded M113 vehicles NASA uses now, it’s relatively nimble, fast, and easy to drive.

If approved the MRAPs will be driving astronauts to the launchpad of the CST-100 space vehicle at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 at and the Kennedy Space Center.

Hat tip to Engadget


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

stefschrader
Stef Schrader

I totally assumed this was the other NASA and still want to see that, anyway.

“I’ll have yer Miata beat!”