In just over a minute the system releases roughly 450,000 gallons of water, sending it 100 feet into the air. Along with helping to dissipate the heat generated during the rocket firing, the water also helps absorb some of the intense noise that the rocket will generate.
In doing so, the deluge water system protects the rocket, the mobile launcher, and the launch pad from the sound pressure and the searing temperatures that are produced as the rocket blasts off into space. According to Popular Science, its engines and boosters will produce 8.4 million pounds of thrust.
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NASA conducted this test in preparation for the Space Launch System rocket launch on Exploration Mission-1.
Ahead of this latest IOP/SS test, the launch pad underwent a series of modifications created to increase the system's performance after a previous water flow verification.
'A geyser occured because the mobile launcher was not present at the pad, ' explained Nick Moss, pad deputy project manager, following the previous test.
Space Launch System, or SLS, is a launch vehicle that Nasa hopes will take its astronauts back to the moon and beyond. In December of 2014, the capsule launched to Earth orbit atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket and completed two laps around our planet before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. It flows at high speed from a holding tank through new and modified piping and valves, the flame trench, flame deflector nozzles and mobile launcher interface risers.
EM-1 is slated to take off in late 2019 or early 2020 in an uncrewed mission that will test critical systems ahead of future missions with astronauts on board.