What could be a cooler and more exciting site than watching a Spacecarft launch into Orbit in real life. Especially while watching spacecraft launches in our favorite hollywood movies, ofcourse what they show in movies are not real, but with all the special effects being added into it that makes it even more breath taking, which makes us human beings feel proud of how far we have reached in science and technology.
While watching a Spacecraft launch, it is quite astonishing to see the amount of steam and smoke clouds that are created from it as shown in the image above. But has anyone of you ever thought how are those white clouds of steam and smoke produced during and after a launch?
Many of you (including myself too) who aren’t very educated in science must’ve thought that the source of the created cloud is made from resources such as (Gas and oil) being used to Launch the spacecraft isn’t that right? but unfortunately that is not true !!
You will be amazed to know that the source of those clouds is ‘Water’ which is used as a sound dampening system to control the immense blast of noise from the shuttle launching which would likely break windows for miles around the launch site if not managed properly.
It is interesting to know that the amount of water which is utilized for this purpose according to a study done on the Environmental Impact associated with the preparations for a normal launch of a spacecraft “Nearly 1510,000 liters (400,000 gal) of water is used for deluge, noise and fire suppressant, and launch pad wash down water during and after each launch”. Furthermore, according to NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center website, the maximum flow rate reaches to 900,000 gallons per minute. Which means that if the launch lets say takes 2 minutes, a total of approximately 2,000,000 Gallons of water is utilized for just a spacecraft launch.
2,000,000 Gallons of water in other words equals to the amount of water that is used yearly for an acre of irrigated land.
Spacecraft launches into orbit are important for NASA scientists but do you think the amount of water that is being utilized in the process is fair to the Environment?