AEDC PHOTO # 85-1156
THE NAVSTAR GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEMS (GPS) SATELLITE
underwent a four-month series of qualification tests determining the satellite can
withstand the extremes of heat and cold in space.
The Rockwell-manufactured satellite, was launched from the space shuttle in the fall of 1986, and was put into production, following the thermal qualification and engineering design tests in a AEDC aerospace environmental chamber. The Mark I chamber, a stainless steel/vacuum vessel 42 feet in diameter and 82 feet high, is used to conduct tests on large space vehicles in controlled environments.
The chamber was fitted with 500 lamps, each 1,000 watts bright to simulate solar heat, and the chamber's walls were cooled with liquid nitrogen to simulate temperatures of minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
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