Modern-day rockets are becoming more powerful and dangerous at the same time. The energy and heat released during a launch can potentially damage a launch pad. That’s why NASA’s water jet system releases almost half a million gallons of water to keep the Space Launch System (SLS) safe and stable for a launch.
NASA’s water jet system at Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad releases 450,000 gallons of water in one minute. The system is called the Ignition Overpressure Protection and Sound Suppression (IOP/SS) water deluge system. It protects the SLS, the capsule, and the launching pad from extreme heat, sound pressure, and acoustic vibrations.
NASA’s Water Jet System
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A rocket launch releases millions of pounds of thrust, extreme heat, and enough sound to rupture a person’s eardrum. The IOP/SS water deluge system controls all that energy to keep the crew and equipment safe. The launch pad is used to launch large payloads for long-distance missions traveling to the Moon and Mars.
According to NASA, the system is designed to carry larger payloads and generate more energy, which could open the door to deep space missions “including robotic scientific missions to places like Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter.”
The system consists of a large water tower that dumps over one million pounds of water in 40 seconds. Dumping this much water also extinguishes any fires that might be caused by the rocket’s exhaust. To this day, NASA uses the water deluge system at all their main launch sites.
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