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Horizontal Launch: A Versatile Concept for Assured Space AccessThe vision of horizontal launch is the capability to provide a mobile launch pad that can use existing aircraft runways, cruise above weather, loiter for mission instructions, and achieve precise placement for orbital intercept, rendezvous, or reconnaissance. Another compelling benefit of horizontal launch is that today s ground-based vertical launch pads are a single earthquake, hurricane, or terrorist attack away from disruption of critical U.S. launch capabilities. The study did not attempt to design a new system concept for horizontal launch, but rather focused on the refinement of many previously-studied horizontal launch concepts. Because of the large number of past horizontal launch studies, a process was developed to narrow the number of concepts through prescreening, screening, and evaluation of point designs. The refinement process was not intended to select the "best" concept, but rather to establish the feasibility of horizontal launch from a balanced assessment of figures of merit and to identify potential concepts that warrant further exploration.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Armstrong Flight Research Center
Document Type
Special Publication (SP)
Bartolotta, Paul
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Wilhite, Alan W.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Schaffer, Mark
(SpaceWorks Engineering, Inc United States)
Voland, Randall T.
(ACENT Labs, LLC Hampton, VA, United States)
Huebner, Larry
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 2011
Publication Information
ISBN: 978-0-9798095-4-5
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Launch Operations
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 599489.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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