NASA Super Guppy Delivers Cryogenic Fuel Tank for Testing on Redstone Arsenal

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) – Employees at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center are getting ready to welcome equipment critical to the future of deep space exploration.

NASA’s Super Guppy, quite the sight itself, delivered the tank on Thursday morning.

The technology is going to be tested right here in the Tennessee valley on Redstone Arsenal.

The 18-foot-diameter cryotank will be installed at Marshall Space Flight Center’s test facility.

The cyrotank will undergo a series of tests at extreme pressures and temperatures similar to those experienced during spaceflight.

Metal tanks have carried fuel to launch rockets and propelled them into space for more than 50 years.

NASA says the cryogenic fuel tanks could provide significant cost and weight reductions on future launch vehicles.

4 comments

  • Jim

    “Metal tanks have carried fuel to launch rockets and propelled them into space for more than 50 years.
    NASA says the cryogenic fuel tanks could provide significant cost and weight reductions on future launch vehicles.”

    Ok, they are testing new tanks, but the article didnt address if the new tank was made of metal or some different material for weight savings. IE is it a lighter metal or a plastic or a composite etc. So what material is the tank made of?

    • Greg Taylor

      My family happened to be visiting the facility (the public part) that day and were told by a staff member that the new tank is made of a “composite material” that is not metal but is supposedly as strong and durable as metal while being significantly lighter. At least that’s what their tests are supposed to determine. By the way, we saw the Super Guppy come in for a landing and it was not “morning” as the article states, but about 5:45 in the afternoon. Only disappointing thing was that NASA on-site management had requested the plane to do a flyover so that visitors could more easily see it, but since it was delayed from 4:00 – 4:30 until 5:45 (museum closes at 5:00) the Super Guppy went straight in for a landing, no flyover. Too bad–but still very cool.

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