Sem surpresa, o fogo no espaço comporta-se de forma diferente 😉
“Since March 2009, the space agency’s Flame Extinguishment Experiment, or FLEX, has conducted more than 200 tests to better understand how fire behaves in microgravity, which is still not well understood. The research could lead to improved fire suppression systems aboard future spaceships, and it could also have practical benefits here on Earth, scientists said.
“We hope to gain a better knowledge of droplet burning, improved spacecraft fire safety and ideas for more efficient utilization of liquid fuels on Earth,”
Fire is a different beast in space than it is on the ground. When flames burn on Earth, heated gases rise from the fire, drawing oxygen in and pushing combustion products out. In microgravity, hot gases don’t rise. So an entirely different process, called molecular diffusion, drives flame behavior.
“In space, molecular diffusion draws oxygen to the flame and combustion products away from the flame at a rate 100 times slower than the buoyant flow on Earth,” said Dan Dietrich, FLEX project scientist at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio.
Space flames can also burn at a lower temperature and with less oxygen than fires on Earth. As a result, the material used to put out space fires must be more concentrated, researchers said.
“Thus far, the most surprising thing we’ve observed is continued apparent burning of heptane droplets after flame extinction under certain conditions,” Williams said. “Currently, this is entirely unexplained”.”