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Visualization of stage separation plume

High-Altitude Two-Plane Interstage Separation of Ares I

Stage separation plume at 0.40, 1.07, and 1.41 seconds after separation (linear Mach contours). From a coupled aerodynamic and rigid-body dynamic simulation of an Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle during a “two-plane” stage separation. The separation occurs at an altitude of 205,000 feet while the vehicle is traveling at over 6 times the speed of sound.

Credit: Research by Ted Manning and Jeff Onufer, NASA Ames Research Center.

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