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NASA Kennedy Space Center Unveils New Ground Operations Demo Unit for Liquid Hydrogen

NASA has established a new ground operations demonstrations unit for liquid hydrogen the agency built from a recycled shuttle storage facility at Kennedy Space Center.

NASA said Thursday the demonstration unit is composed of an internal cold heat exchanger supplied via a cryogenic refrigerator and a 33,000-gallon liquid hydrogen storage tank that was recycled from the Titan Centaur program.

Kennedy’s Cryogenic Test Laboratory, Glenn Research Center and Stennis Space Center along with civil servants and contractors teamed up to design, install and test the system that was tested for liquefaction, propellant densification and zero boil-off capacity.

“The goal would be to integrate the unit’s heat exchange system into the new tank, saving GSDO money by eliminating the loss of hydrogen,” said Bill Notardonato, principal investigator for the demo unit at Kennedy Space Center’s exploration research and technology directorate.

“By accomplishing zero boil-off of liquid hydrogen, we could save one dollar in hydrogen for every 20 cents spent on electricity to keep it cooled.”

Notardonato noted that the zero boil-off capacity can also support the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program at Kennedy Space Center.

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