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Waspie_Dwarf

Wind Tunnel Testing for NASA's New Rocket

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Wind Tunnel Testing Used to Ensure SLS Will 'Breeze' Through Liftoff

Environmental factors, like wind gusts, can factor into an aircraft's performance. NASA's new heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), is no exception when it comes to Mother Nature.

NASA engineers and contractors recently completed liftoff transition testing of a 67.5-inch model of the SLS in a 14-by-22-foot subsonic wind tunnel at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Data acquired from the test will help prepare SLS for its first mission in 2017, Exploration Mission-1, which will deliver an unmanned Orion spacecraft to a stable lunar orbit to check out the vehicle's fully integrated systems.

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SLS wind tunnel cart time lapse

Technicians at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. move an 85,000-pound cart on air cushions into the test section during the Space Launch System (SLS) Liftoff Transition testing in the 14 X 22 Subsonic Wind Tunnel. The interchangeable carts are used to support and articulate the nearly six-foot SLS model during wind tunnel testing.

Credit: NASA/Langley Research Center

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Wind Tunnel Testing Used to Understand the Unsteady Side of Aerodynamics

Think about a time you've been a passenger in a car and stuck your hand out the window. As your speed increases, so do the vibrations in your hand. Trying to keep those fingers steady as the wind whips around them at 75 mph gets pretty tricky, right?

You've just had a quick lesson in unsteady aerodynamics, something engineers are researching and testing on a much larger scale and with supersonic speeds using wind tunnel technology. The wind tunnel tests, recently conducted at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., will be used to enhance the design and stability of the Space Launch System (SLS), NASA's new heavy-lift launch vehicle

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