A sample of polymethyl methacrylate, likewise called Plexiglas, was burned in the Saffire-V experiment. Ribs were produced into the product to see how the flame acted when little structures were integrated into bigger products. Researchers found that fires in microgravity usually grow and burn quicker on the thinner ribs and products instead of thicker samples on the right. Credit: NASA Glenn Research Center
Our understanding of the method fire acts in area is broadening as the 5th in a series of NASA examinations sparked just recently. The Spacecraft Fire Safety Experiment-V (Saffire-V) effectively evaluated bigger, more vibrant fires for over 26 hours inside Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, following its main objective of providing materials to the International Space Station.
After Cygnus left the station on January 6, operators on the ground, for the very first time on a Saffire objective, reduced the pressure inside the spacecraft and backfilled it with oxygen to reproduce possible climatic conditions that would likely be experienced inside future human spacecraft.
After ignition, cams and sensing units kept track of flame development, temperature level variations, and oxygen modifications, which were equated into information. The information will be utilized to design fire reaction circumstances, along with fire detection, combustion item tracking, and post-fire clean-up.
“The elevated oxygen levels show more energetic flames, which would have a larger impact on the vehicle,” states Gary A. Ruff, Saffire task supervisor at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. “The Saffire-V data will allow us to model fire scenarios and increase our confidence in safety strategies.”
Another Saffire experiment is all set to fly on an approaching launch to the spaceport station as NASA continues to pursue a higher understanding of the dangers and habits of fire in area for Artemis astronauts who will check out the Moon and ultimately Mars.
Saffire is a series of experiments established by the Spacecraft Fire Safety Demonstration Project which supports NASA’s Exploration Capabilities Program.