PAD ABORT Lockheed Martin has completed wind tunnel testing on its Pad Abort Demonstrator (PAD), a $53-million testbed project designed to simulate the stresses an Orbital Space Plane crew would face escaping from a launch failure. According to the company, the tests demonstrated that the PAD "is stable under the maneuvering required to escape from a catastrophic launch vehicle event." That stability is needed to deploy the PAD parachute cluster after it slows to about 220 mph., following ...

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