On Wednesday (May 27), astronauts will take off from American soil for the first time since 2011, riding aboard a SpaceX capsule in a historic test flight to the International Space Station.
NASA astronauts haven’t launched from U.S. soil since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011, relying instead on Russian rockets as commercial companies like SpaceX and Boeing developed their vehicles.
NASA during SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission will use recently-ordered Senator light armored vehicles to defend Astronauts Bob Behnken and Colonel Doug Hurley on a short ride from the Operations and Checkout Building at the Kennedy Space Center, where they will suit-up, and to the launchpad.
The Senator is a unique vehicle in terms of technical characteristics, design and assembly. It is developed by the Roshel Defence Solutions that specializes in the design, developing and manufacturing of an extensive range of armored personnel carriers.
A Roshel Senator is its flagship model specifically designed for military, law enforcement, peacekeeping and civilian applications.
The company said the body of the vehicle has been specifically designed to incorporate advanced heat and noise insulation materials providing an uncompromised level of comfort to its occupants. The vehicle is fully air-conditioned for comfort use in harsh environments.
The Senator’s perimeter armouring of the passenger compartment and engine bay is designed to provide protection up to CEN B7 ballistic protection level. The floor is fitted with blast protection to defend occupants in case of a simultaneous explosion of 2 DM-51 German ordnance hand grenades or equivalent light anti-personnel mines.
In addition to standard security features such as perimeter gunports, escape hatches, advanced locks, external view cameras, crowd-control systems, siren/PA system, emergency lighting, Roshel equips its vehicles with advanced defense solutions to enhance vehicle’s ability to accomplish its mission in a secure and efficient way. Among available security solutions are remote weapon systems, turrets, escape hatches, video surveillance equipment, night vision systems, fire source detection systems, chemical protection units and other.