NASA Goddard Cryogenics Group

The Transfer of Superfluid Helium in Space

Michael J. DiPirro, Peter J. Shirron, and James G. Tuttle
Code 713
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA

Presented at ICEC15, Genova, Italy
June 7-10, 1994
Published in Cryogenics, 34, ICEC Supplement (1994) 267

The Superfluid Helium On-Orbit Transfer (SHOOT) Flight Demonstration was part of the space shuttle STS-57 mission in June, 1993. The experiment objectives included: transfer of superfluid between two dewars in a low gravity environment at different flow rates; operation of two different liquid acquisition devices within the dewars; liquid/vapor phase separation for normal liquid helium as well as superfluid at varying venting rates; accurate mass gauging and flow metering; and autonomous control of the transfer process by an expert system aboard a computer on the shuttle. This paper summarizes the findings of the SHOOT experiment and the performance of individual components, with particular emphasis on the anomalous behavior of one of the phase separators.

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