Reusable Launch Vehicle: Technology Development and Test Program
Committee on Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology and Test Program, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, National Research Council
National Academies Press, Jan 22, 1996 - Science - 79 pages
The key to opening the use of space to private enterprise and to broader public uses lies in reducing the cost of the transportation to space. More routine, affordable access to space will entail aircraft-like quick turnaround and reliable operations. Currently, the space Shuttle is the only reusable launch vehicle, and even parts of it are expendable while other parts require frequent and extensive refurbishment. NASA's highest priority new activity, the Reusable Launch Vehicle program, is directed toward developing technologies to enable a new generation of space launchers, perhaps but not necessarily with single stage to orbit capability. This book assesses whether the technology development, test and analysis programs in propulsion and materials-related technologies are properly constituted to provide the information required to support a December 1996 decision to build the X-33, a technology demonstrator vehicle; and suggest, as appropriate, necessary changes in these programs to ensure that they will support vehicle feasibility goals.
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PRIMARY VEHICLE STRUCTURE
REUSABLE CRYOGENIC TANK SYSTEM
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achieve Advanced Technology Aerojet Aerospace Aerospike Aerospike engine Al-Li alloys approach areas attachment autoclave committee components composite tanks cost cryogenic insulation cryotank cycle database DC-XA decision criteria demonstrate development and test environments evaluated fabrication flight full-scale goals health monitoring hydrogen hydrogen embrittlement improved industry partners integrated intertank issues joints LH2 tank loads Lockheed Martin LOX tank major metallic MSFC NASA NASA centers nozzle operability orbital maneuvering system orbiter organic-matrix composite panels percent performance Phase planned preburner primary structures prime contractors producibility propellant propulsion systems pumps ratio reducing Research reusable cryogenic tanks Reusable Launch Vehicle RLV configurations RLV engine RLV program robustness rocket engine Rocketdyne Rockwell International scale scaleability sea-level F/W single-stage-to-orbit space shuttle SSME SSME Block SSTO SSTO vehicle subscale techniques technology development technology programs temperature test articles test programs thermal protection system throttling TPSs turbopumps turnaround waterproofing weight X-33 and RLV X-33 vehicle