Jump to site navigation Jump to main content
+ Visit NASA.gov
NASA Logo - Goddard Space Flight Center
Cryogenics and Fluids Branch

Main Menu


Cryogenics Site Map, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

This site map links you to all the main divisions of our website and to many of the smaller twigs and branches.

The information you'll find here is about cryogenics, the study of cold temperatures. You will not find information about cryonics, a field with a confusingly similar name, which deals with the possibility of freezing and reviving people.

Part 1. Basic Branch Info

Cryogenics & Fluids Home
Brief descriptions or our research and development programs.
Contact Info
Space Cooler Overview
briefly describes various available systems.
Cooler Questions
helps you identify the information that will let you decide what sort of cooling system would work for your project.
Lists of some of our recent publications.

Part 2. Not-So-Technical Information

Introduction to Cryogenics
First stop if you're not a cryogenicist.
Liquid Helium
Liquid Helium in Space
Some applications and behaviors of liquid helium in space.
Pumping Helium
How the SHOOT project pumped helium in the Space Shuttle.
Temperature Scales
More than just Fahrenheit & Celsius
Temperature Calculator
Convert Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin...
Negative Kelvin
Can something be colder than absolute zero?
Comparing Cooling Techniques
Comparisons of the basic techniques of cryo cooling.
Introduction to the ADR
The Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (ADR), for temperatures below 1 Kelvin
Introduction to XRS
The X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS) was a cryogenic payload designed and built at Goddard
We don't freeze people.

Part 3. Where to Get More Information on Cryogenics:
Some Technical, Some Non-Technical

The truth is out there. So is a lot of other stuff.

Links to lists of some of our publications, grouped by subject.
NASA Education Resources
Websites and field centers with educational resources, for teachers and students.
Aerospace Websites
A selection of sites, some useful, some fun, some both.
For cryogenicists and beginners alike
Advances in Cryogenic Engineering
Cryogenic conference proceedings. Mainly for professional cryogenicists.
Space Cryogenic Workshop
More cryogenic conference proceedings. Mainly for professional cryogenicists.

Part 4. Mostly Technical: Our Research and Development Projects

This section is mainly for professional cryogenicists, but I've tried to scatter enough basic information throughout that anyone could find something of interest.

I've divided this section into 2 parts: A is the technology development section, B is the flight projects section. Of course, the division is not as complete in real life as on this site map; every flight project involves technology development to some extent.

Part 4A. Technology Development

The Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (ADR)
The ADR cools to temperatures below 1 Kelvin.
An ADR Primer
How the ADR works. For a less technical version, see Introduction to the ADR
Advanced ADR
A multi-stage ADR being developed here at Goddard.
Advanced ADR Animated
An animated schematic of the Advanced ADR
Mechanical Cryocoolers
Mechanical coolers, by a number of manufacturers.
Cooler types
An introduction to some of the general types of coolers that we use: large, miniature, and vibration free.
Ball Aerospace Stirling Cycle Cooler
Creare Turbo Brayton
A miniature cooler, scheduled for use on the NICMOS instrument of the Hubble Space Telescope
STS-95 HOST Flight
A test of the NICMOS Turbo-Brayton cooler on board the Shuttle.
Photo of NICMOS Cooler in the laboratory
Sunpower Stirling Cycle Coolers
Phillips Cooler
Testbed for magnetic bearings and clearance seals.
Lockheed pulse tube minicoolers.
References to articles on coolers published by Goddard researchers.
Liquid Helium and Hybrid Systems
Liquid helium continues to play a role in space cryogenics.
Other Hardware
We also look at hardware which, instead of producing cold temperatures, uses the cold temperatures.
Superconducting Gravity Gradiometer
A proposal for a satellite instrument which would map variations in the strength of Earth's gravitational field.

Part 4B. Flight Projects

COBE the COsmic Background Explorer
TheCOBE satellite, designed and built at Goddard, gathered data on the Big Bang.
COBE cooling system
Description and schematic of COBE's liquid helium system.
Plot of some of the data gathered by COBE.
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)
SOFIA is a 747 airliner converted to carry a telescope. Code 552 has worked on 2 instruments for that telescope.
The High Energy Solar Specrtroscopic Imager HESSI)
A solar astronomy satellite, cooled by a mechanical cooler.
Superfluid Helium On-Orbit Transfer (SHOOT)
The SHOOT project transferred helium back and forth between 2 dewars in the Space Shuttle cargo bay.
References to published papers.
SHOOT at the Cape
An account of SHOOT's launch, written by one of the team who worked on it at the Cape.
XRS, the X-Ray Spectrometer
The X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS) was an instrument on the ASTRO-E spacecraft, lost during a launch failure in 2000. The technology developed for it will probably be used again, on a rebuilt XRS or on other missions.
Heat Loads to the XRS helium tank
To help extend the lifetime of XRS's liquid helium coolant, we studied all the possible heat loads we could think of, including many which turned out to be negligible.
Fill and vent lines
We used metal bellows, with Kevlar supports, to reduce the heat load through the helium fill and vent lines
Film Killer
Superfluid liquid helium, travelling as a thin film, can escape from containment. Here's how we avoided loosing our supply of liquid helium to that phenomenon.
High Temperature Superconductors
We used electrical leads of high temperature superconductor to help cut down the heat loads to our liquid helium supply.
Mass Guaging
To measure the amount of liquid helium in a vessel, use a heat pulse.
References to some published papers about XRS.
+ Privacy Policy and Important Notices

NASA Official: Eric A. Silk
Curator: Mark O. Kimball

NASA logo
NASA Home PageGoddard Space Flight Center Home Page