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Why have SpaceX, Boeing & Blue Origin ditched abort towers?


There's a new trend going around in the commercial space industry when it comes to launch abort systems. All three commercial companies who are putting abort systems on their crewed vehicles have ditched the classic launch abort tower we've seen dominate abort systems in the past.

Previous vehicles like the Mercury capsule, the Apollo capsule and even the Soyuz all used an escape tower that sat on top of the crew module, capable of pulling the vehicle away from a failing rocket in a hurry. And to make this topic even more interesting, we're seeing another trend in abort systems... SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's Starliner capsules both are using liquid fueled abort motors instead of solid rocket motors. So today we're going to talk about the design considerations that have made SpaceX, Boeing and Blue Origin ditch abort towers on their crewed vehicles and we're also going to evaluate why the heck Boeing and SpaceX are going with liquid motors instead of solid motors. And with both Boeing and SpaceX having experienced serious setbacks and complications with their liquid fueled abort systems, including the loss of a test vehicle, it raises the question… is it even a good idea?....

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