Science: Rocket Bail-Out

One serious problem in designing military aircraft is providing some means for the pilot to escape. Every year the problem becomes more difficult. Even at present speeds (600-plus m.p.h.) and altitudes (50,000-plus ft.), a simple parachute is no good. The pilot must be shot from his cockpit to clear the tail. He is buffeted by the air, and during his long fall before the chute can be opened (automatically at 18,000 ft.), he needs protection against both cold and lack of oxygen.

The present trend is to put the pilot in a streamlined, detachable capsule to ease his return to earth, but...

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