For years, the International Space Station (ISS) has used Russian designed and built Soyuz spacecraft for both crisis shelters and as an emergency lifeboat. Now they are going to get an update from private companies DragonX and Boeing. This could expand the potential size of the crew for the space station.
ISS Station Getting Updated Emergency Lifeboat
“The scenarios that would call for the spacecraft to operate as space-borne lifeboats have not occurred on the International Space Station before, but mission planners have long made sure they are prepared,” a NASA spokesperson stated.
The privately designed and built ships could begin service for NASA crew as soon as next year. Other nations involved in the ISS, as well as the European Space Agency, will likely start sending crew up in the CST-100 as well. Its design is far more modern than Soyuz, though that vehicle has certainly served as a workhorse for decades.
One of the most important requisites of these vehicles, technically speaking, is that they be able to switch on quickly. This should be possible even after months docked in zero power mode. No doubt, this is something anyone would want in their new escape pod.