If you missed Part 1 of my tour, check that out!
Have you ever been in a room with sound deadening foam on the walls, this Langley facility is similar to that, but here they are testing a variety of pieces of equipment. Some which is going to be used on commercial aircraft in the future. These instruments could also be used on drones to better understand turbulence so they can safely avoid it in the future. The room is designed like this to limit interference from the outside. In the coming months, scientists working here say that an antenna for a future trip to Europa, one of Jupiter’s Moons, will be tested in here. We’ll have to come back to see that!
Not too far away, they have an area where they are testing and developing different structures for future space missions, including these inflatable living quarters. When on the moon, or in space, the air pressure needs to be similar to ours on Earth, otherwise you would be able to survive. This type of structure can solve that problem and be small and compact for transport.
Finally, SAGE III is on the ISS, its a mission to monitor our Ozone layer, at Langley, they have a staff of nearly 20 scientists who monitor the instrument and take frequent measurements. Because SAGE III is on the ISS, they always have an astronaut nearby in case the instrument malfunctions. The Next mission, SAGE IV will be smaller, about the size of a briefcase and this Cube Sat will orbit the Earth independently of the ISS.
–Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson