by Staff Writers
Boulder CO (SPX) Sep 12, 2011
Ball Aerospace and Technologies is one of four companies that will study the storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants in space under a contract to NASA. Each company was awarded up to $600K to accomplish this half-year effort.
The contract calls for Ball Aerospace to work with NASA to develop a mission concept to test and validate key capabilities and technologies required for the storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants to and from advanced propulsion stages and propellant depots, important for the agency's future deep space human exploration missions.
Under a directive from President Barack Obama, NASA is pursuing human missions to an asteroid by 2025. Such a mission would require space-based fuel depots and/or pre-positioned cryogenic propulsion stages.
The concept study will determine how to close current gaps in technology to achieve that goal. A demonstration mission to confirm a sustainable, affordable solution will eventually follow the mission concept study.
"Embarking on a human presence in space beyond the space shuttle program will require the kind of innovative technologies Ball is known for," said Cary Ludtke, vice president of Ball's Civil and Operational Space business unit.
"Ball's experience in analysis, design and fabrication of spaceflight cryogenic systems and components dates back 40 years with cryogenic spaceflight instruments and more than 100 cryogenic space flights."
Ball Aerospace has a lengthy heritage on a broad variety of cryogenic and thermal systems - from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to the Power Reactant Storage Assembly tanks for the space shuttle program.
Directly applicable to the current NASA contact was a two-year long feasibility study conducted by Ball Aerospace in 1988 for the Cryogenic On-orbit Liquid Depot-Storage Acquisition and Transfer (COLD-SAT) satellite.
Ball Aerospace and Technologies
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NASA Selects Companies To Study Storing Cryogenic Propellants In Space
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 08, 2011
NASA has selected four companies to develop concepts for storing and transferring cryogenic propellants in space. These capabilities are important for the agency's future deep space human exploration missions. The selected companies, pending successful contract negotiations, are: + Analytical Mechanics Associates Inc. Hampton, Va. + Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, ... read more
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