Neutral Buoyancy Space Simulator

Neutral Buoyancy Space Simulator
Neutral Buoyancy Space Simulator
Astronauts practice rigging protective shielding on Skylab in the simulator, 1972
Neutral Buoyancy Space Simulator is located in Alabama
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Coordinates: 34°39′13.6″N 86°40′41.07″W / 34.653778°N 86.678075°W / 34.653778; -86.678075Coordinates: 34°39′13.6″N 86°40′41.07″W / 34.653778°N 86.678075°W / 34.653778; -86.678075
Built: 1955
Architect: U.S. Army; NASA
Governing body: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NRHP Reference#: 85002807
Significant dates
Added to NRHP: October 3, 1985[1]
Designated NHL: October 3, 1985[2]

The Neutral Buoyancy Space Simulator is located in Building 4705 at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in the United States. It was designed by the U.S. Army in 1955 to provide a zero-gravity space simulator in which engineers, designers and astronauts could perform for extended periods of time in simulated environment of outer space. Due to its capability to support research and testing of operational techniques and materials needed to successfully perform manned missions, the Neutral Buoyancy Simulator contributed significantly to the American manned space program. Project Gemini, the Apollo program, Skylab and the Space Shuttle have all benefited from the Neutral Buoyancy Simulator. Until the mid-1970s, when an additional facility (the Weightless Environment Training Facility, and later, the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory) was constructed at the Johnson Space Center to support the Space Shuttle Program, this facility was the only test facility that allowed astronauts to become familiar with the dynamics of body motion under weightless conditions.

Within the heart of the simulator is a large water tank, 75 feet (23 m) in diameter and 40 feet (12 m) deep. The water within the simulator is temperature controlled, continuously recirculated and filtered. Special systems are integrated into the tank for underwater audio and video, pressure-suit environmental control and emergency rescue and treatment. Life support is simultaneously provided by these systems for up to four pressure-suited subjects. Additional systems include data acquisition and recording, underwater lighting, special underwater pneumatic and electrical power operations of motor, valves, controls, and indicators that are required for high fidelity and functional engineering mockups and trainers.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1985.[2][3]

See also


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Neutral Buoyancy Space Simulator". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  3. ^ Butowsky, Harry A. (May 15, 1984). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Neutral Buoyancy Space SimulatorPDF (293 KB). National Park Service  and Accompanying 7 photos, from 1984 and 1980.PDF (1.42 MB)

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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