A few weeks ago I talked about how a company called Hydrogenics was double dipping by building both hydrogen fuel cells for cars and hydrogen fueling stations (using electrolyzers). It seems that this company has their hands inside anything to do with hydrogen.
A week ago Hydrogenics announced that it was teaming up with Rosetti Marino to build a utility scale hydrogen power plant. Hydrogenics would once again supply both electrolyzers and fuel cells system for the project.
On Friday January 8, 2010, Hydrogenics announced that it has teamed up with the Canadian Space Agency to supply both electrolyzer and fuel cell for a Moon mission. According to the press release, “Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products, today announced the award of a contract for the development of a next generation power system to be used for surface mobility applications on the moon. The scope of the contract includes an electrolyzer that produces both hydrogen and oxygen using solar power and a fuel cell system to be used for mobility, auxiliary, and life support systems.”
Now, NASA is known for carrying fuel cells aboard the Apollo spacecraft when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon in 1969. At that time fuel cells were used for auxiliary power.
What caught my attention about this press release from Hydrogenics however is that hydrogen is not only to be used for auxiliary power or even life support systems (oxygen and drinking water) but for “surface mobility” as well. Could this tie into the fact that NASA found significant water on the Moon in November 2009? And if so, will this water be used to help provide power for this spacecraft?
These are questions that haven’t been answered yet, but are quite intriguing. I’m sure more information will follow on what this new spacecraft will look like and precisely how it is powered.