The Apollo program included several pad abort tests for the launch escape system with a boilerplate crew module.
Both tests were conducted at the White Sands Missile Range.
This section needs to be updated.December 2011)(
The Orion pad abort test was started with the construction of the first Orion boilerplate. It is a basic mockup prototype to test the assembling sequences and launch procedures at NASA's Langley Research Center. Lockheed Martin Corp. was awarded the contract to build Orion on August 31, 2006. The first pad abort test trial of the escape tower system was successfully completed at New Mexico's White Sands Missile Range on May 6, 2010.
The pad abort test was conducted successfully on 6 May 2015 at approximately 0900 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). (A video clip released by SpaceX shows the timestamp of the moment of launch as 13:00:00). The vehicle splashed down safely in the ocean to the east of the launchpad 99 seconds later. A fuel mixture ratio issue was detected after the flight in one of the eight SuperDraco engines, but did not materially affect the flight. More detailed test results were to be subsequently analyzed by both SpaceX and NASA engineers.
After a smooth countdown of five hours, the crew escape system, along with the simulated crew module with a mass of 12.6 tonnes, lifted off at 07.00 AM (IST) at the opening of the launch window from its pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The test was over in 259 seconds, during which the crew escape system along with crew module soared skyward, then arced over the Bay of Bengal and floated back to Earth under its parachutes about 2.9 km from Sriharikota.