KULR Technology Group Inc (OTCQB:KULR) announced Wednesday that NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has awarded the company a contract to build 3D-printed battery systems for manned and robotic space applications.
The company’s passive propagation resistant (PPR) and internal short circuit (ISC) technologies will be used to develop battery systems — while in space — that meet the safety standard created by NASA for crewed space missions.
"Through our partnership with KULR, we will now have the incredible ability to build space-optimized battery pack systems in-orbit," Human Landing System Cross Program Analysis Coordinator Brandon Lewis said in a statement.
"We take the safety of our astronauts very seriously. KULR's technologies will enable us to build safer battery packs that prevent dangerous thermal runaway propagation and protect our most valuable assets."
The ability to 3D print in space has numerous advantages, the company said, namely the potential to make human space exploration less costly, which allows for extended missions, and reserve cargo capacity for other valuable equipment.
"The optionality to repair and replace battery packs in space with parts 3D printed in space is a complete game changer," KULR Chief Technology Officer Timothy Knowles said. "3D printing of KULR's PPR battery design will help lower the costs associated with battery pack transportation for the upcoming Artemis missions, where NASA will build sustainable elements on and around the moon in preparation for an eventual human mission to Mars."
KULR's PPR solution previously demonstrated its efficiency when NASA used it to transport and store batteries aboard the International Space Station last year.
"NASA employs highly rigorous assurance and safety standards, especially for our man-rated technologies,” NASA MSFC Deputy Chief Technologist John Carr said. “KULR's PPR design solution for future manned and unmanned space missions is an ideal fit for mass design, flexibility and cost, all the while maintaining this safety rigor through battery risks such as thermal runaway.”
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