Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp company, announced March 10 that it has completed the Critical Design Review for a Lithium Ion battery Orbital Replacement Unit, which will continue to give astronauts the power they need to conduct important research aboard the International Space Station.
The Lithium Ion batteries, which will replace the aging Nickel Hydrogen (Ni-H2) batteries presently on the space station, will also provide a more efficient form of energy storage.
“The successful execution of this review verifies that the ORU meets all design, operational and performance requirements,” said Larry Trager, director of Advanced Power Systems at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “We are now ready to begin assembly and testing of the Qualification ORU so astronauts who call ISS their home – both from the U.S. and allied countries – can continue to have electricity to conduct important experiments vital to our understanding of life here on Earth and in space.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne will build a total of 31 Lithium Ion battery ORUs which include two engineering units, two qualification units and 27 flight units. Twenty-four of the Aerojet Rocketdyne Lithium Ion batteries will replace all 48 existing Ni-H2 batteries, and will be installed on the Electrical Power System which supplies power to the ISS. The batteries will result in nearly one-half of the launch mass and approximately 1.5 times more energy storage capability.