NASA looks beyond the tipping point with $44 million investment in private space tech

US$10 million goes to United Launch Alliance (ULA) for an Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF) system, which is a complex way of saying that the project aims to keep cryogenic fuels colder longer. This would not only improve the performance of booster upper stages like the Centaur rocket, but would also have applications in lunar landings. The hope is that by having liquid hydrogen and oxygen on tap, spacecraft will be able to do away with batteries, helium pressurization systems and the dangerous hydrazine used to fuel the reaction control systems.

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