Cryogenic fluid management is a key ‘tipping point’ technology to get humans to the Moon, Mars and Beyond
On Oct. 14, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced a $370 million investment with 14 U.S. partners that will demonstrate and mature space technologies to help forge a path to sustainable Artemis operations on the Moon.
As a recipient of an $89.7 million contract from this Tipping Point solicitation, Lockheed Martin will complete an in-space demonstration mission using liquid hydrogen — the most challenging of the cryogenic propellants. This allows us and our partners to test more than one dozen cryogenic fluid management technologies over the next five years.
“We have a long-term vision for sustainable exploration and development at the Moon and beyond, and we’re excited to accelerate our efforts with this new NASA partnership,” said Joe Landon, Lockheed Martin vice president of advanced programs development for commercial civil space. “We’re also thrilled to work with several innovative commercial partners on this mission.”
Our teammates in this trailblazing cryogenic fluid management demo mission include Momentus, which will support the cryogenic payload on its Vigoride orbital transfer vehicle, and Relativity Space, which will launch the mission on its Terran 1 launch vehicle in October 2023. We’ll also work with Yeti Space and KT Engineering to complete this important mission.
Understanding cryogenic fluid management
By developing cryogenic hydrogen technologies, we’ll be paving the future for a sustainable lunar economy.
Cryogenic fluid management is a foundational technology capable of enabling whole new classes of space missions such as advanced propulsion for human missions to Mars and beyond; sustainable exploration with existing assets like water, oxygen and propellant for local deep space resource use; and operations to support our national security missions.
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