Range safety


Range safety

In rocketry, range safety is assured by the systems which protect people and assets on the rocket range in cases when a launch vehicle might endanger them. Range safety is usually the responsibility of a Range Safety Officer (RSO). At NASA, the range safety goal is for the general public to be as safe during range operations as they are in their normal day-to-day activities. [cite web |url=http://kscsma.ksc.nasa.gov/Range_Safety/Overview.htm |title=NASA Range Safety Overview | publisher=NASA]

Flight termination

Some launch systems use flight termination for range safety. In these systems the RSO can remotely command the vehicle to self-destruct. This allows as-yet unconsumed propellants to combust at altitude, rather than upon the vehicle reaching the ground.

Thrust termination

A less destructive type of range safety system allows the RSO to remotely command the vehicle to shut down its propulsive rocket engines. The thrust termination concept was proposed for the Titan III-M launch vehicle which would have been used in the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program. [cite web |url=http://history.nasa.gov/rogersrep/v1ch9.htm |title=Report of the PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident - Chapter IX: Other Safety Considerations |publisher=NASA]

See also

* Ballistic Missile Range Safety Technology
* Range Safety and Telemetry System

References


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