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US companies to study storing cryogenic propellants in Space

WASHINGTON (BNS): NASA has selected four companies to develop concepts for storing and transferring cryogenic propellants in space for the agency's future deep space human exploration missions.

The awards total approximately $2.4 million with a maximum individual contract award of $600,000, a NASA release said.

Each company will provide a final report to help define a mission concept to demonstrate the cryogenic fluid management technologies, capabilities and infrastructure required for sustainable, affordable human presence in space.

Storing cryogenic propellants such as liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen in space for long periods of time with minimal boil-off is critical for deep space human exploration, NASA said.

The mission concept studies will identify technology gaps and look at innovative technical solutions to develop cryogenic propulsion systems and depots.

NASA will use the studies to plan and implement a future flight demonstration mission that will test and validate key capabilities and technologies.

The selected companies are - Analytical Mechanics Associates Inc. Hampton, Virginia, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation, Boulder, Colorado, The Boeing Company, Huntington Beach, California and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado.

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