This chamber is used to test unmanned spacecraft in environments similar to what they will experience in space and on other planets. It is designed to simulate extreme cold, high vacuuum, and intense solar radiation.
The stainless steel chamber is 27′ in diameter and 85′ high. It operates at a pressure equivalent to an altitude of 125 miles. It has a temperature range of -320–250° Fahrenheit. The sun is simulated by an array of 37 30kW compact arc lamps. The light from these lamps is focused through a lens and passes into the chamber through a quartz window. The light is focused on the mirrored ceiling of the simulator and is reflected down towards the chamber floor.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
By: kara brugman