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NASA sprays hundreds of thousands of gallons of water during launches to protect people

Rocket launches release huge amounts of acoustical energy and heat.
NASA Moon Rocket
Posted at 8:12 PM, Dec 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-21 23:13:55-05

Fire safety and protecting spectators and astronauts is a top priority during rocket launches for NASA. And the U.S. space agency does it using an incredibly large amount of water.

NASA will flood launch space with thousands of gallons of water that surround the ignition area.

The massive amount of water stops flames from spreading and keeps the entire combustion process from causing damage. It also acts as a sort of sound barrier to control the harsh sound waves.

Rocket launches produce a lot of acoustic energy. NASA says its South Suppression System releases water from a tank that stores about 300,000 gallons.

Acoustic levels in a payload area can reach around 180 decibels. To get an idea of how loud that is, a jet plane gives off about 130 decibels.

The sound could really hurt hearing or cause major injury without the protection.