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Waspie_Dwarf

Mini Rocket Models to be Used in a Big Way

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Mini Rocket Models to be Used in a Big Way for SLS Base Heating Test

To better understand the heating conditions at the base of what will be the biggest, most powerful rocket ever built, engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., are thinking small -- really small.

Models of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) core stage RS-25 engines and solid rocket boosters -- scaled down to just 2 percent of the actual size of the flight hardware -- have been designed, built and hot-fire tested at sea level conditions. The tests are part of the Pathfinder Test Program, which is run by Marshall engineers in close collaboration with Calspan-University of Buffalo Research Center Inc., in Buffalo, N.Y. The SLS core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, will store the cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines.

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Small Models Taking the Heat to Help Engineers Better Understand...Heat

Mini models of the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage engines are ignited in a big way for a short-duration hot-fire test. As the main objectives of the Pathfinder Test Program, models of the SLS core stage RS-25 engines and solid rocket boosters -- scaled down to just 2 percent of the actual size of the flight hardware -- have been designed, built and hot-fire tested at sea-level conditions by Marshall Space Flight Center engineers, in close collaboration with Calspan-University of Buffalo Research Center Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y. The replicas will provide data on the convective heating environments that the base of the vehicle will experience upon ascent. The models were developed for base heating testing scheduled for this summer. When completed, SLS, NASA's new rocket, will be one of the biggest, most powerful rockets ever built.

Credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

Source: NASA/MSFC - Multimedia

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That's very interesting, my only concern would be in the scale. It's been my experience as a design engineer that some small scale testing doesn't always give you a complete picture. However, using it as part of an overall testing regiment might work well.

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