MUKILTEO, WASHINGTON — A new emergency shelter, the Survival Capsule, was designed to help save lives during a tsunami.
The 2011 tsunami off Japan’s coast that was triggered by the Tōhoku earthquake, killing almost 16,000 people and injuring 6,000 more, was what inspired Julian Sharpe and Scott Hill to create the Survival Capsule. Sharpe and Hill designed to capsule with the less-mobile — the elderly, the infirm, and the young — in mind.
The Survival Capsule team entered the concept in a May 2011 NASA Tech Brief competition and placed ninth out of 350 entries.
In emergency situations, the survival capsule could act as a safety shelter for those who have problems evacuating, especially on last-minute’s notice.
The capsules are spherical metal cages sheathed in aircraft-grade aluminum shells to absorb impact. The internal walls are lined with ceramic thermal blankets to protect passengers from extreme heat. Each capsule is equipped with 60-minute air tank in case it is submerged under water.
Tsunami waves typically move at around 25 mph, but the Survival Capsule’s tests have found that the capsule can withstand impacts from objects at up to 75 mph.
Capsules are available for pre-order in five different capacities ranging from two to 10 people each, with varying seating designs.
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