A 1:100 (31-inch) scale model of the NASA Space Launch System core stage B-2 test stand successfully completed wind tunnel testing Aug. 8. The actual B-2 test stand, located at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss., was originally built to test Saturn rocket stages that propelled humans to the moon. It is being completely renovated to test the core stage of NASA’s new heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), in late 2016 and early 2017.
“The scale model was exposed to varying wind speeds at different angles,” said John Rector, SLS Stages Green Run test manager in the Stages Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “Test stand designers used the test as a way to validate the structure meets current building codes. We want to maximize the capacity of the structure, while minimizing the amount of steel used — which reduces costs.”
The wind tunnel testing was performed by NASA subcontractor CPP Wind Engineering & Air Quality Consultants at its facility in Fort Collins, Colo. The SLS core stage, with four RS-25 rocket engines, will be installed on the stand for propellant fill and drain testing and two hot fire tests. For more information about the B-2 stand being prepared for SLS core stage testing, click here.
Image credit: NASA/SSC