flame deflector

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An angular construction beneath a launch pad that diverts the rocket's exhaust to the side. At NASA's Kennedy Space Center, flame deflectors are made of steel and covered with a high-temperature concrete surface. Those for a space shuttle are 12 m high.

An ascending rocket below an altitude of 92 m will have its exhaust channelled by the flame deflectors into a 149-m concrete-and-brick flame trench that transects the launch pad. Above the flame deflectors are 16 nozzles that release water to suppress the noise, the effects of which could damage the shuttle and its payloads.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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