NASA is deliberately crashing its airplanes to help save lives

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Recently, NASA researchers have been hard at work crashing light aircrafts into the ground.

The most recent test, saw a Cessna 172 being hoisted into the air to about 30m before plummeting into a stretch of hard-packed soil at nearly 90km per hour.

The entire crash — which lasted just a few seconds — resulted in smashed windshields, crumpled wings and a flipped fuselage.

“This is exactly what we wanted,” said Lisa Mazzuca, NASA’s Search and Rescue mission manager.

“This will provide very good data collection for us.”

The controlled experiment is part of a broader test by NASA’s Langley Research Center who are pushing to improve emergency response times through transmitters.

In many instances of survivable crashes, the force of the crash means that transmitters are so damaged that they do not function properly.

Experiments such as these are aiming to bolster the reliability of emergency locator transmitters so that rescue personnel can be alerted to the site quicker in the event of airplane crashes.

Here’s a look at the crash experiment below.

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