• Question: Q5) In case of an emergency does the space station have an escape capsule or rocket to bring them back to earth?

    Asked by mrmull to Rochelle, Julia, Jon F, Jean-François, Claudie, Beth, Adrian on 21 Jan 2016.
    • Photo: Julia Attias

      Julia Attias answered on 21 Jan 2016:

      It does. It always has a backup Soyuz capsule to attached to it in case of emergency to bring the crew back. Having said that, it can only hold up to 3 crew, so another capsule would need to be sent, which could take hours/days. The likelihood is extremely slim and hopefully this bridge would never be crossed!

    • Photo: Jon Farrow

      Jon Farrow answered on 21 Jan 2016:

      Nasa also worked on designs and prototypes for a “Space Ambulance” called the Crew Return Vehicle, or X-38. It got as far as scale models but was ultimately cancelled because it was deemed that the chance of having to use it was so low that it didn’t justify the expense.

      This is something that I think Kevin actually worked on when he was working for Nasa.

      You can read more about that program here: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/news/FactSheets/FS-038-DFRC.html