NASA has released an incredible video that captures the moment when 450,000 liters of water were released on Kennedy Space Center’s 39B startup in one minute.
Officials tested the launcher’s “Ignition Overpressure Protection and Muffler Water Loss System” as preparation for the launch of NASA Space Launching System (SLS) – a next generation super heavy lifting and subsequent mission.
When SLS starts, its engines and boosters will produce a total of 8.4 million pounds of thrust, generating huge amounts of heat, noise and energy. To protect the rocket, mobile launcher and launcher from sound pressure and temperature, large amounts of water are sprayed on the area during ignition and shutdown.
Modifications were made to the pad after a previous water flow test, which increases system performance. Upgrades included corrosion control, renovation of elevated water storage tank and replacement of a lot of pipes, valves, nozzles and other components.
“Testing of upgraded and new parts of the system and a new control system went very smoothly,” said Regina Spellman, senior project manager at Kennedy.
The first phase of the test meant that 1
50,000 liters of water were pumped high from a tank through all new and modified areas of launch. During the second phase more than twice as much as 450,000 gallons were released, giving a giant fountain that reached a maximum of 100 meters in the air.
“A geyser occurred because the mobile navigator was not present at the pad,” said Nick Moss, deputy project manager. “When the mobile boot device is on the circuit switching mechanisms, the rest of the system is connected to the feed head and the water will flow through the feed tube and exit through the nozzles.”
“Additional water flow tests are scheduled to occur when the mobile launcher returns to the integrated testing test plate this summer,” said Moss.
SLS, and the forthcoming Orion Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle, are part of NASA’s future deep exploration plans, which include crew assignments to the moon and march. SLS, which will be the most powerful rocket ever built when measured with total traction, is designed to replace the outgoing space shuttle program.