Today we are sharing the use of simulated manikins by NASA for their crash tests:
Upon re-entry from a deep space mission, NASA’s next generation spacecraft, more commonly known as Orion, will descend under its three main parachutes, swaying in the wind until its final splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. In that brief instant where capsule meets water, astronauts will experience the mission’s greatest deceleration and with that, some of the greatest forces on the human body. That’s where crash-test dummies come into the picture.
Engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, are working to ensure astronauts are uninjured during splashdown by performing water-impact tests of an Orion test capsule with suited crash test dummies inside. “Not only can we learn how the structure reacts to a water impact in these tests, but we can also understand how splashdown loads are transmitted to the seats and crew,” said Mark Baldwin, crew injury lead for Orion prime contractor, Lockheed Martin.
During the most recent drop test, two crash-test dummies wearing modified Advanced Crew Escape System suits were secured in the full-scale capsule. Each dummy was equipped with internal sensors to help engineers quantify the potential for injury. “This gives us a better understanding of localized responses at the head and neck to protect against common impact injuries like concussion and spinal fracture,” Baldwin said.”