Looks like Flash Gordon came to Virginia this Wednesday. Here you have images and video of the spectacular Max Launch Abort System in action. Sadly, the spiffy spacecraft won’t be in Orion. Maybe they can send me one to test.
MLAS—named after Maxime Faget, the designer for the Aerial Capsule Emergency Separation Device in the Mercury program—is an alternative abort launch system concept developed by a team of NASA engineers. The Orion abort system will remain the same. According to NASA, however, this concept has potential for future missions:
MLAS is of potential interest because it is theorized to have aerodynamic performance benefits, weight savings and be relatively simple in some spacecraft applications. Much of the potential gains would be accomplished by eliminating the launch abort tower, which also means eliminating the attitude control motors.