Author Topic: In-Space Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer Demo Proposals  (Read 1581 times)

Offline neilh

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Someone @ NASA is thinking we need to get cryogenic fuel storage on orbit after all?  Looks like they are seeking a technology demonstrator...

Mission Goals
Demonstrate long duration, in-space storage of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen cryogenic propellants.
Demonstrate in-space transfer of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen cryogenic propellants.

(Thought I'd make a dedicated thread for this, as there doesn't seem to be one already. There's this thread, but the subject doesn't really match. The "commercial" section isn't a perfect fit for this thread, but can't think of a better one)

Any thoughts on who's likely to submit a proposal? There's ULA, of course, or Boeing/Lockheed if a propellant depot demo is outside ULA's scope. As for SpaceX, I'm guessing their cryogenic experience is still pretty limited, although since this is a direction they want to go in the future they may try to use this as a chance to fund some of that work.

The other major possibility seems to be Blue Origin. As part of CCDev2 they're pursuing a hydrolox "Reusable Booster System," and so already presumably have at least some cryogenic experience in-house.  If the RBS does actually end up being an SSTO or near-SSTO, having a hydrolox depot in LEO opens up some -very- interesting possibilities for them, both as a supplier for and user of depots.
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