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20 Foot Chamber

    20 Foot Chamber20 Foot Chamber
    Photo credit: NASA

    The 20 Foot Chamber is a vacuum chamber with two airlocks, a rapid decompression chamber and removable bulkhead on the outerlock compartment. The chamber was configured into a reduced pressure habitability test bed for Skylab Medical Experiment Altitude Test (SMEAT) in 1971 and served as an ambient pressure test bed for Space Station and Advanced Environmental Control and Life Support System.

    The chamber height has been increased by inserting a 6.1 m dia x 2.3 m spool piece (20 ft dia x 7.5 ft). The volume is divided into three levels by non pressure bearing diaphragms which provide atmospheric isolation.

    Main Chamber:
      Dimensions: 6.1 m diameter x 8.4 m high (20.0 ft x 27.5 ft) 229 m3 (8,090 ft3) volume *
      Outerlock: 3.0 m diameter x 2.7 m high (10.0 ft x 9.0 ft) 23.4 m3 (825 ft3) volume
      Innerlock: 3.0 m diameter x 1.5 m long (10.0 ft x 5.0 ft) 21.52 m3 (760 ft3) volume
    Rapid Decompression Chamber:
      Dimensions: 1.5 m x 1.4 m x 0.9 m (5.0 ft x 4.5 ft x 3.0 ft), 2.1 m3 (75 ft3) volume
      Features: Rapid decompression from 760 to 8 torr in 200 milliseconds maximum rate
      Vacuum: 1 x 10-2 torr (1 Pa) (equivalent to 76,200 m or 250,000 ft altitude)
      Access: Top loading chamber, end loading outerlock 1.2 m x 1.5 m (4.0 ft x 5.0 ft); door to rapid decompression chamber
      Vacuum Pumps: Two stages of Roots Blowers (selectable parallel or series) backed by a 28 m3/min (1000 cfm) oil flooded sliding vane pump
      Pumping Capacity: 2 x 103 liters/sec parallel blowers
      Pumpdown Time: Controllable rate - max rate 7 min (less than 600 Pa)
      Repressurization: Controllable rate; emergency repress rate to ambient, 15 sec
      *Includes: Removal spool piece 2.3 m (7.5 ft) height and 66.7 m3 (2,356 ft3) volume

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