Sierra Space Advances Storable Liquid Propulsion System

Hypergolic engine testing (Credit: Sierra Space)

LOUISVILLE, Colo., June 7, 2021 (Sierra Space PR) – Sierra Space, the new commercial space subsidiary of global aerospace and national security leader Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC),  successfully completed testing of its hypergolic, or storableliquid rocket propulsion system for orbit transfer, maneuvering and guidance control. Sierra Space’s patented VORTEX® engine cooling technology enables a compact and highly reliable propulsion system that can be stored for long periods of time on the ground and in space.


Work on SHIVER Tank for Deep Space Propellant Storage Advances

SHIIVER, a cryogenic test tank developed to evaluate heat intercept concepts, arrived at Marshall on Aug. 10. The tank will receive heat sensors and spray-on foam insulation at Marshall before making its way to Plum Brook Station for further insulation and testing. (Credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — A technical challenge that NASA is working to solve is how to maintain very cold liquid propellants to be used as fuel for deep space missions. Heat intercept concepts such as advanced insulation blankets, foam insulation and vapor-based cooling will be evaluated with the Structural Heat Intercept Insulation Vibration Evaluation Rig or SHIIVER, which arrived Aug. 10 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for application of its first round of insulation.


Ball Aerospace Submits Cryogenic Propellant Study to NASA

BALL PR — BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 10, 2012 — Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has submitted a mission concept study to NASA for the storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants in space.

Ball Aerospace was one of four companies awarded a six-month contract by NASA to develop a mission concept that demonstrates long duration, in-space storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants. Successful development and in-space demonstration of the technology would advance the state of the art that is required for future exploration elements such as large cryogenic propulsion stages. The Ball concept study proposes solutions to close current gaps in technology to achieve that goal.


Space Access ’11: Charles Miller on Fuel Depots and Railroads

ULA fuel depot

Charles Miller

  • These remarks are his own only, they are not pre-approved and do not represent official NASA policy
  • “We are winning, although it may not be as fast as those in this room would like”
  • In the middle of a paradigm shift – very exciting time
  • Last year, read a book about the transcontinental railroad – Asa Whitney, brother of Eli – developed the idea of a private/public partnership to build a railroad across the country
  • When he proposed it in 1844, was laughed out of Congress by skeptics
  • Asa Whitney never got to build the railroad or see the golden spike driven into the ground in Utah, but he was right
  • Many people see the commercial space dream as similarly crazy — they’re wrong

The Space Show: Propellant Depots and Space Elevators

This week on The Space Show

Tuesday, September 7, 2010, 7-8:30 PM PDT: Dan Adamo returns to further discuss on orbit propellant depots and Earth-Lunar departure points.

Friday, September 10, 2010, 9:30-11 AM PDT:
Berin Szoka returns to discuss not only internet freedom but expanding human civilization in space.

Sunday, September 12, 2010, 12-1:30 PM PDT. We welcome back to the show Dr. Bryan Laubscher to update us on space elevator development.

The Space Review: Human Mars Missions, Fuel Depots and Britons in Space


The Space Review features the following essays:

Why is human Mars exploration so surprisingly hard?
James Oberg discusses why human Mars missions have proven far more difficult than originally envisioned and how we’ll know that we’re finally ready to go.

Doubts about depots
Josh Hopkins argues that proponents of on-orbit propellant depots need to address a number of technical and business issues regarding them.

Ares 1 launch abort: technical analysis and policy implications
An Air Force analysis leaked last month concludes that there are phases of flight of the Ares 1 from which the Orion capsule could not safely escape. Kirk Woellert examines both the rationale for leaking the report and its technical merits.

Remembering the lessons of SEI
Taylor Dinerman looks back on the late, lamented Space Exploration Initiative for insights on how the President and Congress should not to act when given the Augustine Commission’s report.

Launch failure
Dwayne Day reflects on what the passing of LAUNCH Magazine means for space journalism, online and in print.

The crucible of man
Andrew Weston makes the case for Britain to be even more ambitious with its long-term space goals.

Review: Heavenly Ambitions
Jeff Foust reviews a new book that examines changes in space policy and explains why military space dominance is problematic, at best.