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A Space Station tethered orbital refueling facilityA planned function of the Space Station is to refurbish and refuel an advanced space-based LO2/LH2 orbit transfer vehicle. An alternative to propellant storage at the station is to use a remote facility tied to the station with a long tether. Preliminary design of such a facility is described with emphasis on fluid transfer and storage requirements. Using tether lengths of at least 300 ft, gravity gradient forces will dominate surface tension in such a system. Although gravity driven transfer is difficult because of line pressure drops, fluid settling over the tank outlet greatly alleviates acquisition concerns and will facilitate vented tank fills. The major concern with a tethered orbital refueling facility is its considerable operational complexity including transport of the OTV to and from the facility.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Fester, D. A.
(Martin Marietta Aerospace Denver, CO, United States)
Rudolph, L. K.
(Martin Marietta Aerospace Denver, CO, United States)
Kiefel, E. R.
(Martin Marietta Aerospace Denver, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1985
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AIAA PAPER 85-1160
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
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