Heck Yea We’re Gonna Set Some Junk On Fire In Space Just To See What Happens



Can you think of two cooler things? Fuck if I can, but what happens when you mix space and fire? We don’t fucking know, mostly because NASA is too much of a pussy to launch a manned spacecraft laden with explosive charges then set it off when the crew is halfway to Mars to see how everyone reacts.

People would complain about reckless use of government funds or senseless loss of life, so we’ve been keeping our flaming spacecraft to a minimum.

Sad, I know.

Not anymore, though, says NASA. Finally, they are gonna set some shit on fire in space. The space agency placed charges in modules on unmanned cargo vehicles headed to the International Space Station. After they disembark, they would normally just fall back to Earth and disintegrate. Instead, we’re gonna set them on fire first. Just because.

Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland have developed a space flight experiment that will increase understanding of how an accidental fire might behave in a spacecraft after it leaves Earth’s atmosphere.

Working with a team of researchers from 11 U.S. and international government agencies and universities, NASA’s Spacecraft Fire Experiment, or Saffire, will be remotely conducted by Saffire and Orbital ATK personnel from the Orbital ATK Control Center in Dulles, Va. The experiment takes place in a three-by-three-by-five foot tall module carried aboard Cygnus [cargo vehicles]. Once Cygnus arrives at the space station, the module remains aboard the vehicle while supplies for the station are offloaded. The experiment is conducted during the return trip to Earth.

“Gaining a better understanding of how fire behaves in space will help further NASA’s efforts in developing better materials and technologies to reduce crew risk and increase space flight safety,” said Gary A. Ruff, NASA’s Spacecraft Fire Safety Demonstration project manager.

Images and data captured from inside the module will be transmitted to Orbital ATK and relayed to Glenn prior to Cygnus’ destructive reentry to Earth. Researchers at Glenn as well as those on the international team will analyze the data and use it to further develop technologies to safeguard future astronauts from a spacecraft fire.

Will it be dope, though?

“Saffire will be the biggest man-made fire ever in space.”

Oh, it’ll be dope. It’s going down March 22nd.

[Via NASA. H/T @fcain]