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Lightweight Non-Compacting Aerogel Insulation for Cryotanks

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
30 Forbes Road Building B Northborough, MA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Lightweight Non-Compacting Aerogel Insulation for Cryotanks
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX10CB23C
Award Amount: $599,998.00


The exploration of space requires that new technologies be developed for long-term cryogenic propellant storage applications in-space, on the lunar surface, and on the Earth. The Altair (Lunar Lander) ascent stage requires LO2 and LCH4 storage durations of up to 14 days in LEO and up to an additional 210 days on the lunar surface. Long term storage (224 days) of LO2 cryogenic propellant on the lunar surface is required to support space power systems, spaceports, spacesuits, lunar habitation systems, robotics, and in situ propellant systems. Long term storage of LO2/ LH2/ LCH4 cryogenic propellants on the surface of the Earth with minimal propellant loss is required to support launch site ground operations. This SBIR Phase II proposal focuses on improving the strength of aerogels which are the best cryogenic insulation materials known and proposes to develop non-compacting aerogel insulation that could be used to insulate cryotanks on launch vehicles and Earth, and in-space cryogenic fuel storage tanks. During the Phase II effort, we will optimize and scale-up preparation of the crosslinked hybrid aerogels developed during the Phase I effort. The best aerogels will be thoroughly characterized and tested in a relevant environment to attain a TRL of 5.

Principal Investigator:

Wendell Rhine
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Kevin Schmidt
VP, Operations
Small Business Information at Submission:

Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
30 Forbes Road, Bldg. B Northborough, MA 01532

EIN/Tax ID: 043559972
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No