Inside the Fairing
The fairing acoustic protection (FAP) system lines the inside of the Atlas V payload fairing for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission. Seen inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, this half of the fairing has been uncovered during preparations to clean it to meet NASA's planetary protection requirements. The FAP protects the payload by dampening the sound created by the rocket during liftoff; the fairing will protect the spacecraft from the impact of aerodynamic pressure and heating during ascent.
Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Oct. 6, 2011