Lifestyle

NASA’s Project in Cryogenics

Dear audience,

Be the Marty to my Doc, and allow me to take you back, back to the future!

Please excuse the lame introduction, but if many of you were like me as a child I thought of things like a time of flying cars and robots one day running the world. To a more subtle extent than my childhood imagination allowed I suppose this is true, but have you ever imagined of being cryogenicly frozen! Yes, freezing yourself to be revived later.

Sounds like a 1950’s fantasy of the future right? Well we might not be freezing humans yet, or at least not for the average Joe. [Side note: of the few people who have frozen their bodies Walt Disney was NOT one of them] Regardless of whether or not we can have hopes of having a hero like Demolition Man arising sometime in the future, some amazing men and women at NASA have proven to be true hero’s to furthering the capability of mankind as they harness the power of cryogenic technology.

NASA uses cryogenic propellants as a means to fuel long term missions outside of low earth orbit. This super cooled fuel is critical in providing high energy propulsion in human space exploration, and complex missions. The problem though is the storage and transportation of the fuel. As a result the Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer Project was put into play to develop a means of keeping these gases chilled to subzero temperature. This extreme temperature regulation is crucial in preventing fuel loss by the gases boiling off and vaporizing from overheating.

So why are cryogenic propellants so special? Well they dramatically increase the amount of thrust offered per mass unit of rocket fuel. When used properly, their energy is unmatched by any other applicable fueling system in providing the specific impulse needed to permit longer range and highly anticipated missions. As NASA scientists prepare for future moon landings, as well as asteroid exploration, and possibly manned Mars missions high performance thrust enhancers are of the utmost concern in coming to and fro these celestial bodies.

They may not be 1993 Sylvester Stallone super cop, but the men and women at NASA are pretty amazing too.

 

 

Read More About the Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer Project at
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/cpst/cpst_overview.html#.U82mBPldWdg
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/CPST_Fact_Sheet(1).pdf
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/cpst/cpst_overview.html#.U82ltPldWdg

 

 

 

Photo Source: futurewarstories.blogspot.com