The US space agency has just announced a test of fire control in space just weeks before. On board the Cygnus ferry returning to the Earth, the flames of cotton fiberglass were set on fire to see how the fire would behave in microgravity.
In a few years NASA wants to send a manned mission to Mars. The journey will take many months, during which many things may go wrong. The greatest fear of engineers and astronauts is of course a fire on board a spacecraft, so NASA wants to do it right now.
A firefighting experiment, launched within a project called Saffire-I, was announced a few weeks ago. The fire was brought on board Cygnus, who at the end of March provided supplies to the ISS.
The NASA Glenn Research Center, specifically for the purpose of the experiment, has developed an additional module that protected the ship from the spread of flames. A few hours after Cygnus’s disconnection from the ISS, a glass fiber block of 41 x 96 cm was set on fire, which spontaneously burned out after the ship had overcome a distance of several thousand kilometers.