The astronauts played with fire in space

You may be interested


[EN VIDÉO] Incredible chemistry test: colored flame
Fireworks. Their colors that illuminate the sky make our children’s eyes brighter. And let’s face it, let’s face it. There are some very simple chemical reactions behind magic. Ma ব্যাখ্যাlle Mosser, ENS de Lyon’s video explanation of the doctor of chemistry.

We handle it every day, or around: Fire Humans have been using it for over 400,000 years. But, in space, everything is different, and so is its behavior. That is what the researchers said NASA Who created the project Improved combustion through microgravity testing, Where Ekme, Extended over four and a half years. Thus, since 2017, Astronaut On the ship International Space Station (ISS) Test around this theme.

“It’s an environment Microgravity Researchers will be able to explore learning behavior without influence GravitySo that they can study Physical The underlying structure and behavior of the flameNASA’s ACM project scientist, says Dennis Stocker. This knowledge can help designers and engineers here in the world to develop furnaces, power plants, boilers and other Combustion More efficient, less polluting and safer. A

The flames are round in microgravity!

In the program, there are six tests covering different themes, but there is one thing in common: they create Scattered flamesOr not premixed, i.e. when Combustible And OxidizerIn addition to a source is required Heat For fire formation, it is separated before ignition. This is the case with candles, for example, where fuel is wax, oxidantOxygen Surrounding, and the activation energy from a lighter or a flame Match. “More than 1,500 flames were lit, more than three times the number initially planned.Says Dennis Stalker. Several “First” Also made, probably most especially in cold and round flame areas. A

Already made in 2012 with combustible materials Liquid, At this time the flame was made only with gaseous fuels. But the main result is the same: the flame has a round shape, which is very different from what we usually know. In question, the absence of gravity: on Earth, Hot air rises By Circulation Because it is less dense, and cold air comes down by gravity and feeds the base of the flame. But these incidents do not come into play on the board of the ISS. The products of combustion are no longer descended by gravity, and are then surrounded by flames: oxygen is brought in from all sides, supplied Movement Adequate air for CO2 Let him pass. In this case, the flame is maintained.

Six tests to understand the dynamics of fire in microgravity

Overall, these six experiments, impossible to perform in a terrestrial laboratory, have significantly improved computer models that mimic growth andExtinction Flames in microgravity environments. The fire created in space will be more stable and therefore more difficult to extinguish. To this end, NASA conducted these experiments: Fire resistance, And better understand the dynamics of fire in microgravity. Especially in spaceships, where everything is limited and where an uncontrolled fire quickly becomes catastrophic.

Among these tests, the cold flame was run, a test that was already run in 2012 on the ISS board. But also, Burning Miss Simulator (BRE) Consists of igniting different materials into one Atmosphere At rest, then observe the ignition and check the various extinguishers. In different atmospheres, several fuels have been used Similar to the conditions planned for future space exploration. “

During the S-Flame test, the fuel and the surrounding atmosphere were mixed with helium, which replaced nitrogen. Since it is a better heat conductor than nitrogen, the flame size has increased significantly, but its structure and mobility have also increased. It is being analyzed to model, and thus an effective extinguishing method is being predicted. NASA

The case is on fire

Other experiences such as Koflo Laminar Diffusion Flame (CLD Flame), It is possible to study Suite flameI.e. that which produces JhulThis contaminated black-looking substance is the result of its incomplete combustion Materials Carbonated they found that ” Microgravity shot flames are wider and longer than their normal gravitational equivalents, and the density of glass can be as high as ten factors. “

But this is not the end! NASA explains that when fuel is diluted a Gas inert, likeNitrogenThen the ink disappears and the flame “May be detached from its surface Burner And appears as a little Cone Blue “. In the case of extreme liquefaction, the flame even takes the shape of a disc and then goes out. Finally, researchers have shown that a Electric field This makes it possible to reduce the emission of diffuse flames: thanks to this Ion Formed as a result of the combustion reaction, which is sensitive to it. Depending on the field applied, the shape of the flame can be changed, until the glass is formed.

Reading ideas for summer with Futura?

To celebrate the start of the holiday, we’re offering you Mag Futura at a preferential price of 15 15 instead of € 19, a 20% discount !

What is Mag Futura?

  • Our first 200-page paper journal to make science as accessible to people as possible
  • 4 main scientific questions For 2022, from Earth to the Moon
  • Home Delivery *

* Special offer valid till 19th July. Delivery is to France (excluding Metropolitan France), Switzerland, Belgium.

Are you just interested in reading?

Leave a Comment