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General Inquiry: Associate Director, Engineering Directorate
Phone: 281.483.8991

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National Aeronautics & Space Administration
Johnson Space Center
Mail Code: EA
2101 NASA Parkway
Houston, Texas 77058

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Test Facilities Guide

Engineering Test Facilities Guide

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Chamber B

    Chamber BChamber B
    Photo credit: NASA

    Johnson Space Center’s Chamber B is a 7.6 m (25 ft) diameter x 7.9 m (26 ft) high test facility used for human testing in a vacuum environment, and for crewed space operations testing. Chamber B is a human-rated chamber equipped with a traversing monorail that provides weight relief to one suited crewmember at a time. The traversing monorail allows two degrees of freedom inside the chamber and 18.6 square meters (200 square feet) of working space. It also has dual crew-locks to provide easy access to the test articles as well as a means of transporting test crewmembers to the test environment and back during tests. The crew-locks can also be used as an altitude chamber for independent tests. One crew-lock is equipped with a water deluge system and other features that permit its use for crew operations with oxygen-rich atmospheres. Additional test support equipment includes an internal jib crane, mass spectrometers, infrared cameras, use of television cameras, and two rolling bridge cranes with a capacity of 45,000 kg (100,000 lb), which are used to remove the chamber top and insert large test articles.

    Outside Dimensions: 10.7 m (35 ft) diameter x 13.1 m (43 ft) high
    Working Dimensions: 7.6 m (25 ft) diameter x 7.9 m (26 ft) high
    Test Article Weight: 34,000 kg (75,000 lbs) concentric load maximum
    Instrumentation: Real-time data acquisition and remote control
    Access: 10.7 m (35 ft) diameter removable top head; dual crewlocks at floor level
    Types of pumps: Staged roughing pumps, valved and trapped oil diffusion pumps, and 20 K (-424 F) cryopumps
    Pumpdown Time: 8 hours to test conditions
    Pumping Capacity: 1 x 107 liters/sec condensables and 2 x 105 liters/sec noncondensables at 1 x 10-6 torr pressure; Note: Usual chamber inleakage less then 3 x 105 liters/sec of air at 1 x 10-6 torr pressure
    Repressurization: Controllable from 90 sec minimum using dry gas.
    Full Chamber Shroud: Subcooled 90 K (-298 F) LN2 shroud 130,000 W total heat absorption capacity, 1615 W/m2 (150 W/ft2) maximum heat flux
    Wall Emissivity: 0.95
    Measurement: Real-time traversing radiometer system

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