NASA’s revolutionary composite rocket fuel tank for long-distance space travel

Cryogenic fuel is commonly used in space travel as an efficient way of powering rockets.

By cooling hydrogen and oxygen to extremely low temperatures, more of the liquid hydrogen fuel can be crammed into the tank. However, the tank must be well insulated to prevent the fuel from heating during space flight, so is traditionally made from heavy metal.

The large composite fuel tank built by NASA and Boing is 30 per cent lighter than a standard cryogenic tank so will be able to carry much more fuel. This will enable longer distance space missions in the future, helping rockets to transport cargo farther than ever before.

See how the enormous composite tank was made in the video below…

To discover more incredible innovations, pick up a copy of How It Works magazine from all good retailers, or order it online from the ImagineShop. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device.

Plus, take a look at:

Top 5 Facts: Cryogenics 

What is rocket fuel made of?

Top 5 Facts: Rocket fuels 

Why do we use liquid hydrogen propellant?