Ball Aerospace Green Propellant Mission to Test New Thermal Insulation
BOULDER, Colo., Oct. 29, 2013
BOULDER, Colo., Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --NASA's Green Propellant Infusion
Mission (GPIM) has been selected to test an advanced form of thermal
insulation, called integrated multi-layer insulation (IMLI) that could become
standard on future satellites and cryogenic subsystems. Validating this new
insulation in space will help NASA build the technology required for long
human spaceflight missions. Under a subcontract from Ball Aerospace &
Technologies Corp., Quest Thermal Group LLC will manufacture the new
insulation that will fly aboard the 2015 GPIM mission.
High performance insulation materials are required on spacecraft and cryogenic
space systems to maintain consistent spacecraft and subsystem temperatures in
the space environment to keep them operating longer and more efficiently.
"Flying IMLI aboard GPIM is a win–win for the program" said Jim Oschmann, vice
president and general manager for Ball's Civil Space and Technology business
unit. "Conventional insulation was necessary for the GPIM spacecraft, and now
we can fly a section of the IMLI at no extra cost to the program and prove it
for operational use.
The new IMLI offers many benefits to conventional insulation. By utilizing
rigid spacers instead of netting to separate radiation layers, it is
structurally more robust, lighter and easier to install. It also has a nearly
30 percent thermal performance increase over conventional multi-layer
insulation; the IMLI's increased thermal capability is critical for minimizing
heat transference and boil-off of cryogenic storage systems.
The IMLI manufacturer, Quest, a small company located in Arvada, CO, is
developing the technology under small business innovative research (SBIR)
contracts to NASA.
"Utilizing a small business to innovate a new product and adding it to the
GPIM mission demonstrates the synergy between all of the Space Technology
project offices to develop and infuse technology into the market," added
Oschmann. "Our collaboration on GPIM further enables NASA to demonstrate
another critical technology needed to make future space missions safer, more
efficient and more cost effective."
GPIM is a project for NASA's Technology Mission Demonstration (TDM) program
managed by NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). The primary
purpose of the mission is to demonstrate the viability of an alternative
propulsion system for spacecraft other than hydrazine by flying a "green"
propulsion system on a Ball-built small satellite. Ball Aerospace, the prime
contractor and principal investigator, leads a team of co-investigators
including Aerojet Rocketdyne, Edwards Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL),
NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (NYSE:BLL)supports critical missions for
national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S.
government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures
spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation
systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications.
For more information, visit www.ballaerospace.com.
Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for
beverage, food and household products customers, as well as aerospace and
other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball
Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 15,000 people worldwide and reported
2012 sales of more than $8.7billion. For more information, visit
www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
Contact: Roz Brown, 303-533-6059, email@example.com; Mary Engola, 703-284-5417,
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