Yes, NASA has set fire to a spacecraft charging is part of an experiment, but why?
The fire that we all know, the one we see on Earth, is not the same as in space. Obviously fire is fire, but what changes your behavior.
Therefore, the understanding of how the fire spreads in space, in a microgravity environment is key to improving the safety of astronauts.
Study how fire behaves in microgravity environments
The fire safety It is one of the points to keep in mind if you want to be successful in future missions, especially now that you are betting so much to advance in deep space exploration, with the arrival to Mars as the closest objective.
It would be a disaster that after a lot of effort, time and resources used a mission would be ruined by a fire caused by a failure in some system of the ship, but of course, how to study the behavior of fire in space? Welllighting a ship.
During the last years NASA has carried out studies in the International Space StationBut it is obviously nothing of great magnitude because it is not a matter of endangering both the entire ISS and its crews. So the only safe option is to set fire to an unmanned cargo spacecraft, and that is what it’s happening as you read this.
The experiment is calledSpacecraft Fire Experiment (Saffire) and consists of three parts that will be carried out in spaceship cygnus, an unmanned vehicle whose primary mission is to carry supplies to the International Space Station. That is what he did last March, bringing over 3,000 kilograms of food and other supplies there.
The biggest fire in a spaceship
Cygnus has a very short life span (estimated to be about two years), making it the perfect guinea pig for the Saffire experiment. It is a module that includes a block of cotton and fiberglass that NASA set on fire intentionally to study the behavior of large bustions in space.
Departure confirmed! #Cygnus cargo vehicle was released from @Space_Station at 9:30 am ET: https://t.co/KX5g7zfYQe pic.twitter.com/a4RK0fBPhe
NASA (@NASA) June 14, 2016
Before that the module would move far enough away from the Space Station to not be a dangerOnce the experiment (fire) has started, the Cygnus spacecraft will continue to orbit Earth for 8 days, transmitting high resolution images and data from the multiple sensors it integrates. After that time, the ship will enter Earth’s atmosphere completely disintegrating.
As we say, the experiment is already underwaylanave caught fire a few hours ago and at the time of this writing It has already traveled more than 1,000 miles and exceed 800 degrees Celsius. Of temperature.
If you want to be aware of the updates, you can follow the experiment on Twitter from the official accounts of NASAs Advanced Exploration Systems, the official of NASA and NASA Glenn.