Firework in outer space

The Fire is an essential element for the living beings and it is equally important in outer-space. In 1990, a near-fatal fire accident in Russia’s Mir Space Station caused an evacuation of the crew onboard. Fire Incidents in outer space are complicated due to microgravity which causes it to behave in a weird manner and renders traditional fire extinguishers ineffective.

A typical fire extinguisher works by spraying a foam of carbon dioxide on the fire. This means that in space before using traditional fire extinguisher astronauts have to quickly wear oxygen masks because carbon dioxide in such a small place can result in building up of toxic gases on the spacecraft. In an emergency situation, this is more problematic where time intervals such as microseconds matters.

Comparison of fire flame on earth and in outer space

Researchers at Toyohashi Institute of Technology in Japan have designed a special fire extinguisher made specifically for use in outer space. It’s called Vacuum Extinguish Method or VEM for short. VEM uses suction power and sucks the flame into a separate vacuum chamber, along with any other
things that had caused the fire. Not only it sucks the fire, but it also captures all the particulate matter and soot particles, therefore protecting the air filters of the spacecraft. The researchers have claimed that VEM could be effectively used on any enclosed vehicles including submarines, aircraft, etc.