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Cygnus spacecraft on fire

By Iain Thomson, 15 Jun 2016

NASA has deliberately set a fire inside a Cygnus spacecraft, after detaching from the International Space Station (ISS) for safety reasons.

The capsule is carrying the Spacecraft Fire Experiment, which has ignited a variety of materials to study how they burn and spread in microgravity. The purpose is to help protect future missions from the possibility of burning up while the nearest fire department is millions of miles away.

NASA reports that the experiment is burning nicely and has traveled 1,000 miles in space so far. When NASA is sure it's received all the data it can from the tests the whole lot will be pushed earthward for fiery disposal. ®

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