The solid-state ITR bonding approach could potentially find an application space in spacecraft technologies of NASA missions. For example, cryogenic liquid hydrogen (LH2) tanks used on Earth-departure weight critical architectures and in-space propellant depots to sustain deep space missions could be produced using the solid-state ITR mechanism. Particularly, metal and composite layers of composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) can be strongly combined to prevent buckling, leaking as well as minimizing thermal effects. Also, construction of on-site habitable architectures requirements of NASA's foreseen deep space missions beyond low-Earth orbit would be facilitated via orbital replacement units transporting ITR joinable high disassembled packing factor building blocks to build next-generation structures. Additionally, on-going Solar Electric Propulsion project requirements of readjustable (folding/rolling) solar arrays configurations would be enriched through various other arrangements enabled through automated ITR bonding assembly.
The ITR bonding scheme could have a broad impact on other U.S. agencies and particularly aerospace industry is to promote welding-like bonding scheme along with cost, labor and material savings for primary aerospace composite structures. Regarding DARPA/Lockheed Martin X-55 Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft demonstration, utilizing bonded composite components and fuselage structure, substantial weight savings on an aircraft frame were enabled by simply eliminating rivet and fastener use (more than 85%) along with other improvements in fabrication and assembly stages. Also, through a reliable and leak-tight arrangement of fibers, failure of cryogenic fuel tanks could be prevented (Space X Falcon 9 Rocket explosion). Similar improvements can be obtained in polymer composite or metal used structural elements through application of ITR bonding.