NASA’s Space Fire

Why the agency plans to ignite a vessel on purpose.

Studies on microgravity fire have been limited, for obvious safety reasons. A new experiment aims to take the danger away from the crew so it can be tested on a much larger scale. The Spacecraft Fire Experiment, or Saffire, will take place  Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft. After Cygnus resupplies other cargo onto the ISS, it will then take Saffire to a safe distance away from the space station, where engineers on Earth will remotely begin the experiment. Saffire will assess a large-scale microgravity fire on a sample piece of material and then transmit its findings back to Earth.