Water Launch Pad

Given the insane amount of heat generated by new rocket engines, NASA was looking for ways to quickly reduce the temperature at a launch site. They’re currently testing a cooling system built for the earlier Space Shuttles that basically floods the launch pad with 450,000 gallons of water, very quickly onto NASA’s Water Deluge Launch Pad. What is the Water Launch Pad?

NASA’s Ignition Overpressure Protection and Sound Suppression water deluge system (IOP/SS) releases 450,000 gals. of water across the mobile launcher & Flame Deflector in 30 sec. to control extreme energy heat, sound pressure & acoustic vibrations generated by the rocket during ignition & liftoff.

NASA is building the Space Launch System (SLS), and the Orion spacecraft, This powerful Space Launch System is basically a giant rocket NASA will be used in a series of missions traveling to the moon and Mars

Nasa Water Deluge System


NASA is building the Space Launch System (SLS), the Orion spacecraft, and all of the ground systems necessary as part of their Deep Space Exploration plans. The system is designed to take astronauts to the Moon, and Mars, and to destinations further into the Solar System.

This new system is designed to carry larger payloads and generate a lot more energy, which could open the door to deep space missions “including robotic scientific missions to places like Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter,” said NASA.

Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, will be the first mission on tap. The primary goal of the mission is to assure a safe crew module entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery. Orion’s mission is to fly around the moon.

In addition, the Space Launch System will carry 13 satellites that will perform separately from each other running their own missions and experiments. The SPL is 322 feet tall about 17 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty and weighs almost 6 million pounds. 

Artemis 1 will be the foundation for human deep space exploration and existence on the moon and beyond. We are talking about the Moon, Mars, and further into our Solar System.

These Rockets will need to be even more powerful than ones built before and so will the launch equipment used to get the Rocket off the ground. NASA will use almost half a million gallons of water to keep the Space Launch System (SLS) safe and stable enough to launch successfully. The system that delivers all that water is called the Ignition Overpressure Protection and Sound Suppression (IOP/SS) water deluge system and what we are hearing it’s truly a sight to see.

At the moment is released there is an incredible amount of energy is released. The Space Launch System will be the most powerful booster ever built and the extreme heat, sound pressure, and acoustic vibrations must be controlled to protect the SLS, the Orion capsule, and the entire launching pad.

The SLS’s 4 RS-25 engines and 2 boosters produce a combined 8.4 million pounds of thrust, and along with the heat produced, there is an extreme amount of acoustic energy.

To keep everything and everyone all safe  NASA uses the Ignition Overpressure Protection and Sound Suppression (IOP/SS) Water Deluge System. It has been in place since the old days of the Space Shuttle. The older system will be put to use after a few more tests for the first big launch in October 2020.

The IOP/SS releases 450,000 gallons of water across the mobile launcher and Flame Deflector to control the extreme energy generated by the rocket during ignition and liftoff. All this in about 30 seconds. In addition to softening the sound waves caused by the Rocket and the launch the water also reduces the heat produced by the engines.

After each round of testing the IOP/SS system changes a number of valves and circuits. After all, data is collected right up to the final test before the Orion mission schedules next year Oct. 2020 takes off to the Moon.

The cooling water shoots up as high as 100 feet up into the air. But during an actual launch, the mobile launchpad will be in place and the water will flow through the piping in the pad. This will look a little different.

After a previous test in Jan. 2018, Nick Moss, Pad Deputy Project Manager explained it like this: “A geyser occurred because the mobile launcher was not present at the pad. When the mobile launcher is sitting on its pad surface mount mechanisms, the rest of the IOP/SS system is connected to the pad supply headers and the water will flow through supply piping and exit through the nozzles.”

What Is The NASA Artimas Program


The Artemis Program is the first step to beginning the next era of exploration. NASA will establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon with the goal of sending humans to Mars. The collaboration will be between the USA and the country Japan.

Artemis I will be the first integrated test of NASA’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first in a series of very complex missions, Artemis I will not have a crew but will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our country’s commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.


SLS and Orion will blast off from Launch  Complex 39B at NASA’s modernized spaceport at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

On to the Moon

As Orion continues on its path from Earth’s orbit to the Moon, it will be propelled by a service module provided by the European Space Agency, which will supply the spacecraft’s main propulsion system and power (as well as house air and water for astronauts on future missions).

Return and Reentry

For its return trip to Earth, Orion will do another close flyby that takes the spacecraft within about 60 miles of the Moon’s surface, the spacecraft will use another precisely timed engine firing of the European-provided service module in conjunction with the Moon’s gravity to accelerate back toward Earth.



Rocket Launching Process


When the spacecraft lifts off on its first mission a 25-day trip to the Moon for NASA’s Artemis Program, its powerful engines will generate more than 8. 4 million pounds of force. The rocket will also generate sound waves that will be so strong that they would destroy the Rocket almost immediately from the ground up.

This is where NASA’s Ignition Overpressure Protection and Sound Suppression Water Deluge System (IOP/SS) takes over. It projects the water onto and over the launchpad. This happens at ignition and liftoff. This not only protects the ground from the Rocket’s engines but also prevents the sound waves from bouncing off the concrete and back up to the Rocket and causing catastrophic damage to the engines.

The system also prevents the giant flames from the bottom of the Rocket and engines from catching anything on fire. During the launch, some of the water will be evaporated by the extreme heat while the rest exists through nozzles. The SLS will be able to explore far beyond Orbit.

It will carry astronauts in the Orion capsule or even carry exploratory cargo like robots to distant worlds like Mars and Saturn. The last test that was recently done in 2018 was done to test water supply lines, valves, and tanks for corrosion and pressure.

So when the real flight will debut in 2020-21 everything is expected to be in tip-top shape. Ready for take-off.


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Future Missions

With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars. The second flight will take the crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans aboard.


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JimGalloway Author/Editor



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