Boeing [BA], Lockheed Martin [LMT] Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. [BLL] and Analytical Mechanics Associates Inc., have been selected by NASA to develop concepts for storing and transferring cryogenic propellants in space.

The awards, pending successful contract negotiations total approximately $2.4 million with a maximum individual contract award of $600,000, the space agency said.

NASA is pursuing this work because the capabilities are considered critical for the space agency’s future deep space human exploration missions.

Each company would provide a final report to help define a mission concept to demonstrate the cryogenic fluid management technologies, capabilities and infrastructure required for sustainable, affordable human presence in space.

The studies will be used to plan and implement a future flight demonstration mission to test and validate key capabilities and technologies. The Exploration Technology Development Program is funding the studies; the Space Technology Office at NASA"s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio is managing the contracts.