NASA has suffered some enormous budget cuts in recent years, but that isn’t stopping them from moving forward with its latest projects. Scientists are currently testing combat retired Mine Resistant Ambush protected (MRAP) trucks and converting them into astronaut taxis.
When things go awry on a space shuttle launchpad, everyone in the immediate vicinity is in danger. In the case of emergency, astronauts need to evacuate the launchpad in a vessel that is resilient, agile and wicked fast.
Rather than designing a whole new vehicle to replace the current model astronaut taxi, NASA plans on taking advantage of MRAPs. These vehicles are already tried and trued in combat, and their armored design is optimal for escaping fiery death in a pinch.
So far, the MRAP time trials have surpassed all expectations. If all goes well, the vehicles will be implemented at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 at and the Kennedy Space Center.