ICC21  Plenary Talks & Panel Discussions

Plenary 2:  (Tuesday, December 8)

Cryogenic Applications and Technology Investments: Enabling a Wide Range of NASA Missions

by Michael Meyer, NASA/LaRC,      Dean Johnson, NASA/JPL, 
and Peter Shirron, NASA/GSFC

Plenary Abstract

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) pursues missions that cover a broad spectrum of goals, each with extremely challenging and exciting scientific and engineering  requirements. The missions range from research and technology devel-opment for future aircraft systems, to scientific exploration of our planet and its near and distant neighbors, to enabling humans to live and explore in space. Over the last several decades, advances in capability and experience with cryogenic refrigeration across the entire cryogenic temperature regime has increasingly become integral to the successful achievement of many of NASA’s goals.

The talk begins with an overview highlighting cryo-genic requirements, challenges, and successes of several recent or in-development NASA missions involving low temperature systems. As more in-depth examples, the application of cryogenic advancements to the Artemis program for human lunar exploration, the critical need for advances in cryogenic refrigera-tion for crewed Mars missions, and the potential application of cryogenic systems to future aircraft electric propulsion are described.

In closing, we describe NASA’s approach to partner-ing with industry and academia in research, tech-nology development, and system level demonstra-tion, emphasizing strategic improvements in cryogenic refrigeration capabilities for both
near term and more distant future applications.

Theme 2 Panel Discussion Panelists

The Plenary Speaker: Mike Meyer is currently NASA’s Technical Fellow for Cryogenics where he leads a cross-agency team, augmented by industry, academia, and other government experts, to address high risk technical issues related to cryogenic systems.  Mike began his NASA career in 1989 as a research engineer in space propulsion at NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC).  Over the years he has led research efforts on a wide variety of new space propulsion systems involving cryogenic densification of propellants and use of cryogenic propellants for in-space missions.  More recently he has served as Branch chief within and Division chief of GRC’s In-Space Propulsion Division.  He has authored over 50 technical publications, is on CSA’s Board of Directors, is an Associate Fellow of  AIAA, and has received numerous awards including the NASA Exceptional Leadership Award.


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