Hybrid Aerogel-MLI Insulation System for Cryogenic Storage in Space Applications
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Small Business Information
Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
30 Forbes Road, Bldg. B, Northborough, MA, 01532-2501
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThe future of the NASA space program includes longer and more invasive missions into space, with a goal to return to the moon's surface by the year 2015. Long duration storage of large quantities of cryogenic fluids for propulsion, power, and life-support is an essential requirement for these missions. The behavior of active and passive cryogenic management is paramount to the thermal status of a spaceship and cryotanks storage. Efficient and reliable insulation materials are key to the success of long missions into space. Aspen Aerogels proposes to develop a durable and cost effective hybrid aerogel/MLI insulation system for cryogenic storage in space applications. The proposed hybrid insulation system will withstand micrometeoroids impacts and will outperform the MLI in cases of vacuum loss. During the Phase II Program, extensive work will be dedicated to the developing a system level solution for installation of the flexible hybrid insulation system onto cryotank surfaces to minimize seams, and thermal leaks. Development of the proposed novel cost effective insulation package will provide NASA with a long-term cryogenic propellant storage thermal control solution for applications in low earth orbit (LEO), and on the lunar surface.
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