Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has submitted a mission concept study to NASA for the storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants in space.
Ball Aerospace was one of four companies awarded a six-month contract by NASA to develop a mission concept that demonstrates long duration, in-space storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants. Successful development and in-space demonstration of the technology would advance the state of the art that is required for future exploration elements such as large cryogenic propulsion stages. The Ball concept study proposes solutions to close current gaps in technology to achieve that goal.
"Ball has provided cryogenic storage technology for every human mission beginning with Gemini," said Cary Ludtke, vice president of Ball's Civil and Operational Space business unit. "NASA's future exploration architecture is well aligned with Ball's heritage for innovative solutions."
Ball has more than 40 years of experience with cryogenic spaceflight instruments and over 150 cryogenic space flights. These include NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the Cosmic Background Explorer, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, and Power Reactant Storage Assembly tanks for the space shuttle program. As a leader in the analysis, design and fabrication of spaceflight cryogenic systems and components, Ball relies on its cryogenic technology strength to deliver complete flight hardware solutions and systems. A few of Ball's cryogenic product innovations include high performance and next-generation multilayer insulation (MLI), dewars and cryostats, cryocoolers, cryoradiators, as well as related components such as vapor cooled shields, struts, and high efficiency heat exchangers.
NASA will use the four contracted studies to plan and implement a future flight demonstration mission that will test and validate key capabilities and technologies. NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program is funding the studies.
Source: Ball Aerospace
Date: Jan 10, 2012