FASTRAC Thermal Vac Testing Progresses
December 7, 2004
The FASTRAC Environmental Test team just returned from NASA's Johnson Space Center in preparation for a thermal vacuum developmental test campaign.
NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) has graciously agreed to donate time, equipment, and expertise to help the FASTRAC team simulate the environment of low-earth orbit in their thermal vacuum chamber. The JSC team in building 33, led by facility manager Eric Chan, met with FASTRAC team members to begin the buildup and chamber preparations for the test.
During environmental testing, the air inside the chamber is evacuated to an extremely low 0.0001 Torr - very close to the near vacuum of space. The satellites are then subjected to alternating cycles of heat and cold to simulate the effects of exposure to direct sunlight and passing through the shadow of the Earth.
The test campaign will begin on December 20th and last up to 48 hours. Valuable developmental data will be collected on the thermal equilibrium of the satellite under flight conditions. Check back soon for updates!
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