You are here

Standards for Impure Propellants

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0307
Agency Tracking Number: 204862
Amount: $124,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T2
Solicitation Number: STTR_20_P1
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-09-30
Small Business Information
112 Mitchell Boulevard
Tullahoma, TN 37388-4002
United States
DUNS: 144158677
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Eric Jacob
 (931) 455-7333
Business Contact
 Janice Teal
Phone: (931) 455-7333
Research Institution
 University of Tennessee Space Institute
411 B.H. Goethert Pkwy
Tullahoma, TN 37388-4002
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) is at the forefront of near-term lunar and Martian missions.nbsp; While many technologies and program strategies focus in ISRU, propellant production substantially impacts the scope and duration of these missions.nbsp; Through ISRU, missions can benefit from substantial mass savings, and size reduction which, in turn, result in longer durations and larger payloads.nbsp; Moreover, reusable landers within situ propellant production can reduce cost and benefit critical functions such as life support, energy storage, and scientific payloads.With the potential benefit comes certain technical challenges.nbsp; While pure methane is a well-characterized propellant, impurities that may be present in in situ production can cause a variety of issues.nbsp; Beginning in the manufacturing process, the presence of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and water can affect the success of liquefaction processes.nbsp; Carbon dioxide and water both have freezing points above the saturation temperature of methane that could cause the build up of solids in liquefaction plumbing.nbsp; Moreover, carbon monoxide has a lower saturated temperature so it may either, not condense and cause gas pocket, or condense and boil off later.nbsp; It may require a conditioning stage to separate carbon monoxide from methane or maintaining temperatures low enough to keep it from boiling.nbsp;In this effort GTL proposes to determine the effect of impure propellant on mission critical systems, including storage, pressurization systems, thermal management systems, and combustion instability.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government