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Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems successfully completed testing of an unlined liquid oxygen (LOX) compatible composite tank, thus demonstrating cryogenic containment to 5000 micro-strain (250 psig).
The testing was completed on December 12 at the Cryogenics Test Laboratory at Kennedy Space Center by a NASA/ASRC Aerospace Corporation/Lockheed Martin team.
The 54-inch diameter tank had pax1sreviously been tested up to 2700 micro-strain (112 psig) including a total of 68 cryogenic cycles and 290 pressure cycles, and demonstrated Lockheed Martin’s liquid oxygen compatibility approach.
“This test program has demonstrated a LOX compatible material system at a structural level needed to achieve the weight targets for higher performance composite structures on future space programs,” said David Achary, senior manager, Composite Programs & Technologies.
The 5000 micro strain data from the recent test provides the data needed to further ground the design and analytical models being used in support of the FAST (Future Responsive Access to Space Technologies) Airframe Ground Experiment, in which Lockheed Martin is currently developing designs for a composite cryogenic tank as part of an integrated airframe ground test article for the Air Force Research Laboratory. As a result of the success, the test team will perform follow-on tests to explore high micro-strain capability in excess of the required 5000 micro-strain level to provide additional test data for future composite cryogenic tanks.
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