An intact abort, in NASA and Space Shuttle terminology, is a mission abort that occurs after the Shuttle is launched and which involves a procedure to return the orbiter, intact, to the ground. There are four types of intact abort available; which is used depends on the type of failure and the timing. They are:

If the vehicle is catastrophically damaged or continuation is untenable for other reasons, then all efforts switch to extracting the crew safely from the orbiter, using methods which were installed after the STS-51L (Challenger) disaster. This is called a contingency abort.

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