Philosophical Society of Washington

Fire in Space

Gregory T. Linteris
Payload Specialist Astronaut, STS-83, STS-94
Fire Science Division, NIST


2129th Meeting Abstract
Friday, March 9, 2001 at 8:15 P.M.

Abstract:

The Microgravity Sciences Mission (MSL-1), STS-83, was the first space shuttle mission devoted largely to combustion science, with over 150 on-board fires planned for the 16-day flight. The STS-83 mission was cut short due to concerns over performance of one of the three power-generating fuel cells, with the crew returning to earth after only 4 days in space. NASA re-flew the mission three months later as STS-94, which became the first mission in the history of manned space flight in which the same crew flew together again in space; it was also NASA's fastest turn-around of the shuttle to date. STS-94 became a phenomenally successful spacelab flight. Greg Linteris, the combustion science Payload Specialist on the flights, will share his experiences on the missions.

About the Author:

Dr. Linteris is presently the leader for the priority project on Next Generation Fire Suppression in the Fire Sensing and Extinguishment Group, and the task leader for the Combustion By-Products section of the Agency Compatibility project.

Before joining NIST in 1992, Dr. Linteris was on the research staff at the University of California, San Diego, where he performed analytical and numerical studies on the structure of N2O/CO and H2/NO2 flames at low pressure in order to develop reduced mechanisms for the reaction kinetics important in the deflagration region of some solid rocket propellants. He also performed experimental and analytical studies of the life and drag forces on heptane droplets in unsteady, nonuniform flow. Dr. Linteris' Ph.D. research, at the Fuels Research Laboratory at Princeton University, was in the area of high-temperature chemical kinetics. During his first year, he studied the oxidation of n-butyl benzene in a turbulent chemical kinetic flow reactor. In his last three years, he developed a laser absorption system and a novel 180° laser-induced fluorescence probe for remote, trace radical concentration measurements—the first ever in the Princeton flow reactor, and used these to study the moist CO oxidation reaction.

Dr. Linteris has been a reviewer for major journals in combustion, has presented a number of papers at national and international scientific meetings, and has authored or co-authored 8 refereed and 15 unrefereed scientific publications.

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