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Capillary Flow Experiment (CFE)

The Capillary Flow Experiment (CFE) is a suite of fluid physics experiments whose purpose is to investigate capillary flows and phenomena in low gravity. The CFE data to be obtained will be crucial to future space exploration because they provide a foundation for physical models of fluids management in microgravity, including fuel tanks and cryogen storage systems, Thermal Control Systems (TCS) (e.g., water recycling), and materials processing in the liquid state. NASA’s current plans for Exploration missions assume the use of larger liquid propellant masses than have ever flown before. Under low-gravity conditions, capillary forces can be exploited to control fluid orientation so that such large mission-critical systems perform predictably.

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