Today while I was surfing on Google, I found a very interesting article that contains the Timeline of Vacuum Chamber Development. I found it a great idea, a content that this blog can’t really miss!
So lets start saying that the first real vacuum was accomplished in 1643 and, as said previously in my vacuum pump article, the first vacuum pump followed in 1650.
As “flight” started growing early in the 1900s, aeronautical researchers started setting up engines in vacuum test chambers to reproduce higher altitudes.
As the country commenced to send spacecrafts into space, the necessity of test chambers able to produce a higher level of vacuum was evident.
The Space Power Chamber No. 1 (SPC) was one of the firsts large vacuum chambers that appeared early in the 1960s. The largest vacuum chamber in the world is the Space Power Facility at NASA’s Plum Brook Station, which began operation in 1969.
Here is the “Vacuum Chamber Development Timeline”:
1917: First test in altitude chamber at the Bureau of Standards for the NACA; High-altitude test bench at Zeppelin Aircraft Works plant in Friedrichshafen
1918: U.S. School of Aviation Medicine altitude tank
1933: National Bureau of Standards tests appliances in a high-altitude chamber
1938: MIT Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel simulates altitude
1944: AWT begins operation at NACA Lewis
1947: Four Burner altitude test stands built at NACA Lewis
1952: Propulsion Systems Laboratory with two altitude test cells for engines
1959: Interior of AWT gutted to form high-altitude chamber
1960: McDonnell space environment chamber built for Mercury
1961: Electric Propulsion Laboratory vacuum tanks built at NASA Lewis Republic Aviation Space Simulation Facility
1962: SPC No. 1 vacuum chamber built inside AWT; Goddard Space Environment Simulator; Lockheed’s High Vacuum Orbital Simulator; Bendix Corporation’s Space Simulation Chamber; General Electric Space Environment Simulator; 25-Foot Space Environment Facility at Jet Propulsion Laboratory
1963: Mark I Aerospace Simulator at Arnold Engine Development Center
1965: Space Environment Simulation Laboratory at Johnson Space Center
1969: Space Propulsion Facility at Plum Brook tests rocket engines in vacuum; Space Power Facility at Plum Brook is world’s largest vacuum chamber
For further references visit the official Nasa Student website.