NASA video shows off crash test dummies

It's easy to think of NASA solely as a space exploration outfit, but it does a lot more than that. NASA also does lots of testing for aircraft of different sorts to help design better safety systems to help people survive crashes and accidents. The video at the bottom of this story shows some of the crash dummies NASA uses at the Langley Research Center.

That research center performs testing on all sorts of aircraft from next-gen aircraft to water impact tests for the Orion space capsule. The video starts with NASA swinging a small airplane into the ground with a pair of dummies aboard to test crash survivability.

Another scene shows what appears to be a cross-section of a commercial aircraft being dropped with a bunch of dummies inside to study the effects of a crash. The testing of the Orion capsule was performed by dropping the capsule into a pool of water to test the likelihood of injury to astronauts after splashdown.

Despite how the Orion impact looked from the outside the dummies inside barely moved. The engineer in the video talks about how fast injury data happens, it takes less than a second. The high-tech dummies must be able to capture that data accurately and quickly.

All the data that the myriad of sensors captures is used to create one number that tells the researchers if an injury occurred or not from the crash test. That data is then used to determine if the helmets, suits, and other systems are meeting their requirements.