Since its inception in 1958, NASA has been harnessing the unique properties of hydrogen to conduct missions. NASA's hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are used for many purposes.
› NASA is the largest consumer of liquid hydrogen in the United States.
› NASA uses approximately 10 million pounds of liquid hydrogen per year at six locations in five states.
› In the past 45 years, NASA has purchased more than 350 million pounds of hydrogen and transported it safely across millions of miles by truck, rail and barge.
NASA engineers at the Glenn Research Center are developing a fuel cell that will let planetary rovers operate longer, making possible, for example, exploration of shaded areas on Mars.
The powerpack assembly for the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) J-2X engine has completed its year of testing at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
The team designing America's new flagship rocket has completed successfully a major technical review of the vehicle's core stage. NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) will take the agency's Orion spacecraft and other payloads beyond low-Earth orbit, providing a new capability for human exploration.
Liquid hydrogen is the signature fuel of the American space program.
NASA's Glenn Research Center partners with Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), the Cleveland Foundation, the Ohio Aerospace Institute and several technology development companies, to add a hydrogen-fueled demonstration bus to the RTA fleet and a hydrogen fueling station at an RTA garage.
Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Engineering Directorate has broken ground for an advanced liquid hydrogen systems test site. The site was built with a view to reducing the cost of ground hydrogen processing operations supporting both NASA and commercial launches.
Kennedy Space Center, Fla., has had demonstrations of many alternatively fueled vehicles in the past decade, but this was a first: an all-electric bus, which provided a quiet ride as center, state and local officials toured NASA's launch site.
"There's a lot of potential for Kennedy and the workforce to be engaged with commercial partnerships," said Robert Hubbard, Partnership Development manager at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Cella research on hydrogen storage is just one of many energy research partnerships at KSC.
NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. has developed a technique to sense fill levels in large cryogenic hydrogen tanks, the purpose of which is to reduce the time between leak occurrence and leak detection.
A concept has been developed at Johnson Space Center for a new fuel cell individual-cell-voltage monitor that can be directly connected to a multi-cell fuel cell stack for direct substack power provisioning.
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells can be used for portable power sources. At room temperature, the new membranes developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) outperformed commercially available membranes by a large margin.