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Pad 39B Water Flow Test Comes Through Loud and Clear

20 Sep 2019, 08:25 UTC
Pad 39B Water Flow Test Comes Through Loud and Clear
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NASA continued its preparation for the Artemis I mission with a successful water flow test on the mobile launcher at Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B on Friday, Sept. 13. (Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

By Jim CawleyNASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA eclipsed another milestone in its plan to send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface by 2024 with the latest successful water flow test on the mobile launcher at Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B.

Using adjustments from the first water flow test event in July, the Friday, Sept. 13 exercise demonstrated the capability of the sound suppression system that will be used for launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) for the Artemis I mission.

During the 30-second test, about 450,000 gallons of water poured onto the Pad B flame deflector, the mobile launcher flame hole and onto the launcher’s blast deck. The system reached a peak flow rate of more than 1 million gallons per minute. While the visual is dramatic, the water’s main purpose come launch day involves sound.

“SLS will create about 176 decibels at liftoff, which is significantly louder than a jetliner,” said Launchpad Element Deputy Project Manager Nick Moss. “The sheets of water ...

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