NASA Chambers of Horrors

Scientists and engineers often work on the same teams and think about similar questions, guided by different (but related) processes. As such, the Scientific Process has an engineering analog – the Engineering Design Process. When engineers design a system or an object, the process will always include some kind of testing, much like scientists do, and the results will feed back into ongoing phases of design improvement – until the product is optimized for use.

As you can see, this NASA video, which can be found at PBS LearningMedia accompanied by support materials, explores the engineering and performance tests NASA spacecrafts undergo prior to launch. Topics include g-forces, vibration, acoustic power, physical load, tension, EM waves and thermal fluctuations – all presented in a playfully spooky tone that portrays the battery of tests as a “chamber of horrors.”  Find video and support materials here.

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