NASA, ULA Partner for Cryogenic Fluid Mgmt, Spacecraft Retrieval Projects

NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center has partnered with United Launch Alliance to develop systems to manage cryogenic liquid and retrieve space vehicles in midair.

The Lockheed MartinBoeing joint venture will receive $2 million to demonstrate how very-low cryogenic fuel boil off can support long-duration missions with the Centaur Cryote-3 rocket stage under the Cryogenic Fluid Management Technology Demonstration effort, NASA said Thursday.

The agency’s Kennedy Space Center and Marshall Space Flight Center will support the project.

ULA will also receive $1.9M to administer a mid-air retrieval demonstration on a vehicle returning to Earth from orbital velocity through the use of an ocean-going ship built to transport helicopters to a recovery zone.

NASA intends to pair the effort with the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator project that seeks to showcase platforms mid-air retrieval platforms up to 8,000 pounds while increasing current platforms by a factor of four.

The agency chose ULA and five other U.S. companies to develop 10 “tipping point” technology platforms for potential use in government and commercial space programs.

A technology is considered tipping point if ground or flight demonstrations of the technologies will result in a subsequent maturation phase and eventually the company’s marketing of the product, according to NASA.

The estimated total cost of the 10 projects is $44M.

You may also be interested in...

Air Force E-4B

Boeing, Raytheon Help Air Force Update E-4B Command Post Communication Systems

The U.S. Air Force is working with Boeing, Raytheon Technologies and the latter company's Collins Aerospace business in efforts to modernize communication systems of the E-4B strategic command and control aircraft platform.

George Franz Cybersecurity Lead AFS Natl Security Unit

Accenture’s George Franz, Ian Fogarty: Agile Product Management Could Help DOD Maintain US Innovation Edge

George Franz and Ian Fogarty of Accenture Federal Services wrote in a guest piece published Friday on Breaking Defense that the Department of Defense should combine Agile software development with product management to speed up the development of weapons systems and help maintain U.S. edge in innovation and the country’s global preeminence. “Done correctly, Agile Product Management achieves the speed and responsiveness to evolving needs provided by agile software development, while also helping to handle the complexities associated with suppliers/providers, large and complex integrations, and a wide ecosystem of stakeholders typically seen in mission critical defense and intelligence systems,” Franz, a retired U.S. Army major general, and Fogarty wrote.

Rick Ambrose EVP Lockheed Martin Space

Lockheed Gets Ready to Demonstrate Midsize Satellite Bus; Rick Ambrose Quoted

Lockheed Martin has commenced preparations to launch a midsize demonstration satellite platform designed for communications, weather research and Earth observation missions, Via Satellite reported Friday. Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed's space business and a 2021 Wash100 awardee, said the company developed its LM 400 satellite bus hybrid in a push to help customers address evolving mission environments.