Press Release

NASA to Release 350,000 Gallonw of Water During Sound Suppression Test

By SpaceRef Editor
April 29, 2004
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For the fourth time in Space Shuttle Program history, 350,000 gallons of water will be released on a Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP) at Launch Pad 39A during a water sound suppression test. The test will take place at 8 a.m. May 7.

This test is being conducted following the replacement of the six main system valves, which
had been in place since the beginning of the Shuttle Program and had reached the end of their service life. Also, the hydraulic portion of the valve actuators has been redesigned and simplified to reduce maintenance costs.

Following the four-minute water test, Steve Payne, NASA test director, will be available for a question-and-answer interview session.

The sound suppression water system is installed on the launch pads to protect the orbiter and its payloads from damage by acoustical energy reflected from the MLP during launch. The system includes an elevated water tank with a capacity of 300,000 gallons. The tank is 290 feet high and stands on the northeast side of the Pad. The water is released just before the ignition of the orbiter’s three main engines and twin solid rocket boosters, and flows through parallel 7-foot-diameter pipes to the Pad area.

Media who would like to attend this event must coordinate their visit with the KSC Press Site by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 5. Space is limited, so access will be granted on a first requested basis. Media will need to be at the press site at 6 a.m. the day of the event for transport to the Pad.

The media viewing area for the test will be on one of the upper levels of the Pad structure and hard hats will be provided. Once in place at the Pad, media will not be permitted to leave until the test and the media interview have been completed and the Pad is clear around 9 a.m.

Since the Launch Pad is an operational area, all who enter must be properly dressed in long pants and closed-toe shoes with low heels. Sleeveless shirts are not allowed. No matches or lighters will be permitted inside of the Pad perimeter.

SpaceRef staff editor.