NASA has used a plethora of ships and shuttles over the years, each one needing to do two things above all else: effectively transport the people or equipment onboard to their destination, and crash in the safest and least damaging manner possible.
To know exactly how a vehicle will react in the event of an emergency, there's only one way to test it, and that's crashing it beforehand. NASA's Langley Research Center has its very own Landing Impact and Research Facility, where space crash tests take place--and the Center has released a glorious slow motion video of its greatest hits.
Brett Williams is an editorial assistant at Supercompressor. He hopes that no crash test dummies were badly harmed in the making of this video.
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