In coming next generation, space environment may become more common since there is tons of unexplored resource which would support our future life. State-of-Art space plane is now proposed and traveling moon will be the future's option. US government decided to "return" moon and first take mankind to Mars in next 20 years. It is always our hope and dream to make this possible and technology is mature enough to this happen. However, one important problem must be resolved for this kind of space program: that is "safety issue".
Once space plane has chance of unexpected fire, all crews are exposed to the serious danger. Thus, special regulation is employed for all materials consist of the space plane. However, such material test are basically done under normal-gravity condition although real space plane is expected to work mostly in microgravity condition. Combustion behavior is very much affected by gravity, the test results done under normal-gravity condition may not be valid in microgravity. It is our hope, therefore, to achieve safety use of space plane, combustion process in microgravity must be revealed and establish database which applicable to selection of fire-safety materials.
We study basic combustion processes in microgravity environment through drop-tower, parabolic flight experiments and numerical prediction. Also we are working on the discovery of new scheme by using space enviromnent (such as flame instability control etc.).