Multi-Environment MLI (MEMLI) might be the best thermal control system for Mars missions, capable of providing high thermal performance for all Mars mission phases, including in-air, in-space and on-Mars operation. Successful testing of MEMLI might lead to a commercially ready product from Quest Thermal and Ball Aerospace for future infusion into new NASA missions or vehicles, such as Evolvable Mars Campaign, Mars Lander or for Mars ISRU cryogen storage and preservation. The NASA In-Space Propulsion Systems Roadmap, April 2012, calls "Zero Boil Off storage of cryogenic propellants for long duration missions" the #2 ranked technical challenge for future NASA missions. The NASA Thermal Management Systems Roadmap (April 2012) states "performance and efficiency of cryogenic systems will have to significantly increase in order to enable the missions being considered over the next 20 years" [Ref 2]. It also states "New materials capable of ascent venting without performance loss or physical damage must be developed and demonstrated". The Roadmap further indicates "insulation schemes effective during ground and ascent phases while still offering optimal performance for long duration on orbit storage are needed". MEMLI may have numerous advantages for future NASA missions and needs. The multi-functionality and high performance in various environments could be applicable to various missions.
Quest Thermal Group, and our partner in the aerospace market Ball Aerospace, continue to work diligently to promote and get infused our new technologies. IMLI will fly on the Ball Aerospace/NASA Green Propellant Infusion Mission, IMLI will fly on a Remote Refueling Mission 3 experiment on the Station, we continue to work with ULA on getting several new technologies on on-ramps to new launch vehicles, and the same effort to interest Boeing with our launch vehicle systems for SLS. Clearly, an insulation system designed for outstanding performance on Mars will have limited non-NASA use, although, perhaps one day commercial launch providers such as SpaceX might also benefit from this technology. Several aerospace prime contractors are now following with interest Quest and Ball Aerospace development of IMLI and related insulation systems. Use of a high performance VCMLI system to replace SOFI would be of interest enabling improved payload capacity in cryogenic upper stages, such as Vulcan ACES and SLS cryogenic upper stage development. LRMLI has strong application for insulating LH2 tanks for High Altitude Long Endurance UAVs, with discussions with Boeing regarding use on Phantom Eye. IMLI and derivatives might be able to provide improved thermal insulation for storage and preservation of cryogens for a wide variety of industrial uses, such as insulation for dewars for LHe, LH2, LN2 and LOX, for commercial, medical, industrial and research uses.