This image shows a scale model of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket undergoing testing inside the administration’s wind tunnel at the Langley Research Centre in Virginia, US.
The model, less than 1% the size of the real thing, has been coated in a special pink pressure-sensitive paint. When exposed to oxygen in a high-pressure airflow, the paint glows bright crimson, allowing researchers, such as aerospace engineer Courtney Winski, shown here, to study how the real rocket will behave at launch.
The Space Launch System is being prepped for NASA’s mooted next series of missions to the moon. The first test flight, dubbed Exploration Mission-1, is slated for 2020.