As NASA continues preparations for the first launch of its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft that will send humans beyond low-Earth orbit, Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is preparing to build the world’s largest liquid hydrogen (H2) storage tank.
It will involve new technologies developed by researchers at the spaceport’s Cryogenics Test Laboratory.
When NASA launched the first astronauts to the Moon, propellants for the Saturn V’s second and third stages were liquid H2 and liquid oxygen (O2). Prior to being loaded into the launch vehicle, they were stored in 850,000 gallon spherical containers – each about 1,500 feet from the pad. These storage tanks served the same purpose during the 30-year Space Shuttle Program.
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