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The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
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- About Us
Houston, We Have a Noise Problem
22 December 2000 7:00 pm
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA--In the international space station (ISS), no one can hear you scream. Or whisper. It's even noisier than it was on Russia's Mir spacecraft, a NASA official reported at the 140th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America held here earlier this month.
NASA has long been aware that certain parts of the station--particularly those built by the Russians--are much noisier than they were supposed to be, thanks to a host of valves, pumps, and fans. Long-term exposure to a spacecraft's racket can lead to permanent hearing damage, as many Mir veterans can attest.
It has become painfully obvious that the newest component, Russia's service module, is no exception. NASA's Jerry Goodman, who's in charge of acoustics for the $100 billion project, reported at the conference that readings taken shortly after the module was attached in July show that noise levels average more than 70 decibels. That would make it as noisy as a machine room or a rattling air conditioner. What's more, Goodman said, "It's 85 [decibels] near the compressor, and 80 near the workstation. ... It's [acoustically] hot."
NASA has managed to get noise levels in the first Russian module, the Functional Cargo Block (FGB), down to "acceptable" levels with the help of sound-absorbent padding, Goodman reported. But the solution is far from optimal. "There's so much hardware trying to quiet the FGB that you could fill this [conference] room with what I call 'Band Aids.' "