Lost in Space? How to Rescue Distressed Spacecraft.

Plans for crewed launches, both government and civilian, are on the rise. Without rescue plans in place, today’s astronauts journey at their own peril.

Launch of the Inspiration4 Mission. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the first civilian crewed mission from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Sept. 15, 2021. Credit: U.S. Space Force | Staff Sgt. JT Armstrong
The crewmembers of the Apollo 13 mission, step aboard the USS Iwo Jima, prime recovery ship for the mission, following splashdown and recovery operations in the South Pacific Ocean, April 17, 1970. Credit: NASA

What exactly is in-space rescue?

Why did you start investigating the issue of in-space rescue?

What are some of the gaps for in-space rescue capability currently?

What are some near-term solutions for crewed launches?

The second International Docking Adapter. IDA-2, will be one of two connection points for commercial crew spacecraft visiting the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

What are some ideas you’d like to see explored for future development?

How would a rescue launch-on-demand system operate, and who would be responsible for coordination?

The In-Space Rescue Capability Gap details the steps needed to provide rescue capacity for human spaceflight.

We have partnerships with other spacefaring nations. How might international collaboration be used to solve this in the future?

We operate the only federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) committed exclusively to the space enterprise.