Mars Chamber Resides at FL Tech

Jul 28, 2017

Retired space shuttle astronaut Winston Scott…with your Space Minute.

Nearly every university has some interesting things on campus, from rare books to famous paintings. But no other university campus has this...

In 2016, officials at Kennedy Space Center asked Florida Institute of Technology faculty if they would like to take something off their hands: A hollow, stainless-steel tube known as the Mars Environment Chamber.

About the size of a boxcar and insulated with foam, the chamber can be pressurized and cooled to mimic the atmospheres of Mars or even the moon. NASA planned to use it for research and testing instruments but lack of funding killed the project.

The chamber languished in a NASA junkyard for years. Enter Florida Tech, which agreed to refurbish the chamber. The university is already home to the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute, with its goal of finding ways to colonize Mars.

Florida Tech plans to use the chamber to test equipment and technology needed to establish habitats on the Red Planet’s harsh environment.

Captain Winston Scott is a retired U.S. Navy fighter pilot and astronaut who flew on two space shuttle missions and walked in space three times. He’s now an administrator and faculty member at the Florida Institute of Technology. More information on Space Minutes at wfit.org.