In a report (available here), the USAF's 45th Space Wing states that if an Orion mission had to be aborted within the first minute of flight, there is a '100% FRATRICIDE by SECONDARY RADIATIVE WILTING of NYLON CHUTES The capsule will not survive an abort between MET's of ~30 and 60 seconds - as the capsule is engulfed until water-impact by solid propellant fragments radiating heat from 4,000F toward the nylon parachute material (with a melt-temperature of ~400F)."
In other words, if something goes wrong in the first minute after launch, everybody on board dies. No escape system can save them, as the entire capsule would be engulfed in 4000 degree solid fuel propellant, and the chutes would melt.
Can we all agree that solid fuel rockets should not be used for human cargo? It's time to scrap ARES and look at the other alternatives available. Buzz Aldrin agrees...
Originally found in the Orlando Sentinel