Artemis space program cryogenic design

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Concepts NREC has received a Phase II SBIR award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to design cryogenic cooling for use in space applications. In support of the Artemis program, NASA seeks integrated refrigeration cycles for use in liquefaction of hydrogen and oxygen from the lunar surface. Concepts NREC is working towards the demonstration of two high-capacity helium-based reverse-Brayton cryocoolers and plans to leverage these cryocoolers to develop a two-stage helium system capable of supporting oxygen and hydrogen liquefaction needs on the Moon.

Concepts NREC will leverage turboalternator powertrain technology developed during a previous phase of this program to handle larger thrust loads at higher rotational speeds at lunar surface ambient conditions. The expanded capability of the compressor powertrain will increase the state-of-the-art in cryogenic cooling by an order of magnitude and is another step by Concepts NREC to support NASA’s goal of establishing a long-term presence on the lunar surface and beyond. Results from this study will also provide valuable input into NASA’s on-going Cryogenic Fluid Management directives.


“In collaboration with commercial and international partners, our innovative cryocooler solutions will allow NASA to establish the first long-term presence on the Moon and to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before,” said Chief Technology Officer, Concepts NREC. “Then, NASA will use what they learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.”