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FeuerTRUTZ-International-2-2016

Focus Fire in Space Fire Prevention and Fighting on Board the ISS Those wanting to plan preventive fire protection should have fundamental knowledge about the behaviour of fire and smoke under different conditions. Even if fire protection engineers are only rarely awarded the job to plan the fire protection of a space station (which building regulations would actually have to be considered here?), this contribution is very interesting. It explains, amongst others, how flames behave in zero gravity and how the fire protection is regulated on the ISS.  Stefan Cimander On-board the International Space Station (ISS), research is carried out how fire behaves in zero gravity. A fire in the space station belongs to the most critical scenarios for the crew. In Star Trek and other science fiction series, fire fighting on-board of a space ship sounds easy and uncomplicated. If a fire breaks out in space, a containment field is activated automatically and smothers the fire. Well, the adventures of Star Trek are playing in the distant and fictive future so that the question for the actual behaviour of fire in zero gravity or microgravitation (very low gravitational effect of the earth, e.g. on the International Space Station ISS) and for the intervening extinguishing measures is justified by all means. After all, there was already at least one critical fire in orbit: on the 24th February 1997 a chemical oxygen generator 1 was on fire for 14 minutes on the former Russian space station MIR. The ISS is the Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons only manned outer post of humankind in space and the question of a functional fire protection (concept) is vital for the crew. An astronaut can’t simply walk out of the door if there is a fire and their escape and their possibilities of survival are limited (see info box). Moreover, fire behaves differently in space than on the earth and the combustion products heat and toxic 14 FeuerTRUTZ International 2.2016


FeuerTRUTZ-International-2-2016
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