Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is one step closer to readiness for NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS), as J.P. Donovan, Rockledge, Fla., wraps up major construction on the main flame deflector for the pad’s upgraded flame trench. Measuring approximately 57 ft wide, 43 ft high and 70 ft long, and with a 58° angle on its north side, the steel-clad deflector is designed to divert nine million pounds of thrust generated by SLS’s main engines at liftoff. Pipes installed on the deflector’s crest will channel thousands of gallons of water into the flame trench for sound suppression and to cool the area from peak temperatures of 2,200° F. NASA plans to begin SLS launches in 2020. Pad 39B will also be made available for commercial launches.
One Small Step for NASA in Space Launch System Project
June 6, 2018