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As rockets become more and more powerful, the systems that protect them need to keep pace. NASA will use almost half a million gallons of water to keep the Space Launch System (SLS) safe and stable enough to launch successfully. The system that delivers all that water is called the Ignition Overpressure Protection and Sound Suppression (IOP/SS) water deluge system, and seeing it in action is very impressive.
The moment of launch is a dangerous time for any rocket due to the incredible energy released. The SLS is an extremely powerful design—it will be the most powerful booster ever built—and the extreme heat, sound pressure, and acoustic vibrations must be controlled to protect the SLS, the Orion capsule, and the launching pad. The SLS’s 4 RS-25 engines and 2 boosters produce a combined 8.4 million pounds of thrust, and along with the heat produced, there is an extreme amount of acoustic energy.
Energy - Crew - Equipment - NASA - IOP/SS
To control all that energy and keep crew and equipment safe, NASA employs the IOP/SS water deluge system. It has been in place since the days of the Space Shuttle Program. But with the upcoming launch of the SLS in 2020, the system needed to be upgraded to handle the additional load. NASA tested the system on October 15th, and the...
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