United Launch Alliance has wrapped up the final testing phase on an emergency egress platform for the Boeing-built Starliner crew capsule designed to fly aboard the ULA-built Atlas V rocket for crewed missions to the International Space Station.
Chris Ferguson, director of Starliner crew and mission systems at Boeing, said the company expects to begin spaceflight operations in 2018 with the completion of the EES platform.
EES consists of egress cables designed to help astronauts evacuate the crew access tower to a landing zone in the event of an emergency before launch and is built to accommodate up to 20 flight and ground personnel.
CAT is located approximately 172 feet above a space launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
ULA and Terra-Nova modified the latter's ZipRider system to create EES, which works to allow the riders to glide at a speed of 40 miles per hour in half a minute.