During launch, rockets experience intense vibrations as turbulent air flows around the spacecraft. Such vibrations can severely stress the vehicle, putting it at risk of being shaken to pieces. To study the effects of these vibrations and minimize their impact through better design, researchers at NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley are testing model rockets in wind tunnels using a high-tech paint that reveals the fluctuating pressure loads that occur during flight. The results of one test are seen in this video simulating a rocket ascending through Earth’s atmosphere traveling just under the speed of sound. In the video, areas of higher-than-average pressure are colored red; lower-than-average are blue. Learn more: http://go.nasa.gov/2j9gIzg
Video credit: NASA Ames Research Center/Scott Murman
NASA Ames Research Center is located in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. Follow us on social media to hear about the latest developments in space, science and technology.