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AEDC PHOTO # 65-1945

SATURN RETRO PLUME STUDIES: Expanding exhaust plumes from retro rockets can have a degrading effect on any surfaces on which they may impinge. To surface, solar cells and other exposed components of a space vehicle such as Centaur-Voyager, NASA had Arnold Engineering Development Center conduct tests on a full-scale segment of the vehicle model. A 5,000 pound retro rocket, mounted exactly as it would be on the Saturn S-IVB booster, was used. The tests, conducted at simulated altitudes up to 133,000 feet in the exhaust spray chamber of the J-4 test cell, revealed that considerable surface contamination and solar cell degradation would be encountered using this configuration, and that modification and design changes were indicated.

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