NASA did a water flow test on the mobile launcher at Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B, and the test was successful, egging NASA on to their 2024 venture to send a woman and a man to the lunar surface.
The first water flow test was done in July, and taking the important measures from there the exercise on September 13 proved to be successful. The test showed the capability of the sound suppression system scheduled to be used for the launch of NASA’s Space Launch System for the Artemis I mission.
The test lasted for about 30 seconds during which about 450,000 gallons of water was poured onto the Pad B flame deflector, the mobile launcher flame hole, and the launcher’s blast desk. When the rocket reaches its full power for the launch, the pressure can cause vibrations, which could seriously damage the mobile launcher. Water launched would be the part of the sound suppressor which is supposed to minimize the damage caused to the mobile pad.
The sound suppression system acts as a dampener, absorbing the acoustic energy and reducing the strength of the pressure waves.” The Launchpad Element Deputy Project Manager, Nick Moss further mentioned, “SLS will create about 176 decibels at liftoff, which is significantly louder than a jetliner. The sheets of water created by the flow will curb that sound by knocking it down a few decibels. – Cliff Lanham, the mobile launcher senior project manager
Smoke and fire from the rocket that is about to take off starts about 10 seconds after the ignition. The sound suppression starts about 20 seconds before the launch, and it provides protection against the smoke and fire emanated from the pocket.
The weekend tests included a nominal launch countdown flow and a single valve failure test flow. The software that was used for the launch is also made to initiate and complete the launch of Artemis I.