Launch Escape System

The Launch Escape System on the Apollo Command Module (CM) was an abort feature that engaged when a problem with the launch vehicle required the crew in the CM to get to a safe distance quickly. This escape system consisted of a cluster of solid-fuel rockets mounted to a boost-protective cover that attached to the CM. The boost-protective cover not only shielded the CM from the exhaust of the launch escape boosters if they were fired but also protected the module from the heat generated by the boosting of the entire spacecraft by the launch vehicle. The Launch Escape System could be enabled automatically by a detection system during the first 100 seconds after launch, or manually by a member of the crew any time within jettison altitude limits (below 19 miles).

Command and Service Module
Lunar Module