NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer Technology Demonstration For Long Duration In-Space MissionsThe high specific impulse of cryogenic propellants can provide a significant performance advantage for in-space transfer vehicles. The upper stages of the Saturn V and various commercial expendable launch vehicles have used liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants; however, the application of cryogenic propellants has been limited to relatively short duration missions due to the propensity of cryogens to absorb environmental heat resulting in fluid losses. Utilizing advanced cryogenic propellant technologies can enable the efficient use of high performance propellants for long duration missions. Crewed mission architectures for beyond low Earth orbit exploration can significantly benefit from this capability by developing realistic launch spacing for multiple launch missions, by prepositioning stages and by staging propellants at an in-space depot. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration through the Office of the Chief Technologist is formulating a Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer Technology Demonstration Mission to mitigate the technical and programmatic risks of infusing these advanced technologies into the development of future cryogenic propellant stages or in-space propellant depots. NASA is seeking an innovative path for human space exploration, which strengthens the capability to extend human and robotic presence throughout the solar system. This mission will test and validate key cryogenic technological capabilities and has the objectives of demonstrating advanced thermal control technologies to minimize propellant loss during loiter, demonstrating robust operation in a microgravity environment, and demonstrating efficient propellant transfer on orbit. The status of the demonstration mission concept development, technology demonstration planning and technology maturation activities in preparation for flight system development are described.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Meyer, Michael L.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Motil, Susan M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Kortes, Trudy F.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Taylor, William J.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
McRight, Patrick S.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 2012
Subject Category
Propellants And Fuels
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Space Propulsion 2012
Location: Bordeaux
Country: France
Start Date: May 7, 2012
End Date: May 10, 2012
Sponsors: Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, European Space Agency, Association Aeronautique et Astronautique de France
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 645454,01,04,04,02
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available