Patrick Watson Team Third – RS25 Vapor Cloud

Patrick Watson Team Third – RS25 Vapor Cloud

This is a massive water vapor cloud from the latest RS25 hotfire on the A1 engine test stand at the NASA Stennis Space Center. This water vapor is formed when the hot exhaust plume from the RS25 hits the water that is spraying through the flame diverter and causes it to rapidly vaporize into a gigantic cloud. Often times the vapor cloud condense into rain and will have localize rain cells. For this hotfire the wind was just right and it rained on us. The RS25 (AKA Space Shuttle Main Engine) testing is being conducted in preparation for delivery of engines to NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) for the Artemis program. Current thrust produced by the RS25 is north of 400,000 lbf with 452 seconds ISP.

Thank you to the test director at SSC for letting me use the video I took of the hotfire!


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5 Comments. Leave new

  • Cameron Sprenger
    Dec 14, 2023 11:39

    You really went all in on this project, not many students conduct a hot fire test at a Nasa space center just for a flow vis project. JK, very nice video though, and what a cool experience to see.

  • Riley Menke
    Dec 7, 2023 20:45

    Patrick, I like how the building in the frames adds scale to the image. The physics behind this flow is really something special and I think you did a good job to do that justice.

  • Sam Lippincott
    Dec 7, 2023 13:17

    The subject behind the flow is so cool in and of itself. The cloud footage is also so nicely captured

  • Kenny Olavarria
    Dec 6, 2023 22:50

    The amount of power in these engines is outstanding. I absolutely love how the steam clouds rise – it’s a man-made cloud (and rain) generator!

    I miss being there for these tests in person…

  • Jess Holmes
    Dec 1, 2023 20:43

    Hey Patrick! Your video came out amazing! It’s cool to see just how crisp of an interface the vapor cloud keeps as it initially exits before dissipating. It’s also really interesting how the cloud seems to roll over itself as it circulates upwards; not something you get to see everyday!


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