Emergency rescue vehicle with capability to land within continental United States

Whether it is the orbital facilities support vehicle (Figure 5.25), the hypersonic glider aerodynamic plane change vehicle, or the Space Cruiser, these vehicles can serve as an immediately available escape and rescue vehicle in case of an emergency. With these vehicles recovering in the continental United States (CONUS), or continental Europe, is possible without waiting in orbit for the correct orbital position to reach these locations with a limited cross- and down-range vehicle. The orbital facilities support vehicle has the capability to accommodate nine to thirteen crew, depending on the medical circumstance (litter patients or ambulatory). This means that with a fleet of these vehicles, the space facilities need not be partially manned or be without a safe return. These vehicles were designed in the past to be able to generate 75 to 90 flights a year, and to be launched in less than 24 hours. This provides a true capability to build an operational infrastructure as envisioned by Dr William Gaubatz in Figure 5.1.

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