Thermal Management System Technology Development for Space Station Applications 831097
Advanced planning within NASA is currently being focused on a manned Space Station as the next major step in the U.S. space program. Capabilities such as evolutionary growth on-orbit, indefinite life through maintenance, and flexibility to accommodate a time-varying complement of users constitute requirements for the Space Station thermal management system that are radically different from those of previous or current missions.
Anticipating the need to identify the technology required for long-life, high-power orbital platforms/stations, NASA began a multicenter thermal management system technology development program in 1979. This program, sponsored by the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology, has continued to evolve in parallel with the increasingly detailed planning for a Space Station program.
This paper presents a short discussion of the program history to date, provides a “snapshot” of the current status of several ongoing studies and hardware demonstration tasks, and discusses future technology development plans.