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Space Launch System Mission Flexibility AssessmentThe Space Launch System (SLS) is envisioned as a heavy lift vehicle that will provide the foundation for future beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) missions. While multiple assessments have been performed to determine the optimal configuration for the SLS, this effort was undertaken to evaluate the flexibility of various concepts for the range of missions that may be required of this system. These mission scenarios include single launch crew and/or cargo delivery to LEO, single launch cargo delivery missions to LEO in support of multi-launch mission campaigns, and single launch beyond LEO missions. Specifically, we assessed options for the single launch beyond LEO mission scenario using a variety of in-space stages and vehicle staging criteria. This was performed to determine the most flexible (and perhaps optimal) method of designing this particular type of mission. A specific mission opportunity to the Jovian system was further assessed to determine potential solutions that may meet currently envisioned mission objectives. This application sought to significantly reduce mission cost by allowing for a direct, faster transfer from Earth to Jupiter and to determine the order-of-magnitude mass margin that would be made available from utilization of the SLS. In general, smaller, existing stages provided comparable performance to larger, new stage developments when the mission scenario allowed for optimal LEO dropoff orbits (e.g. highly elliptical staging orbits). Initial results using this method with early SLS configurations and existing Upper Stages showed the potential of capturing Lunar flyby missions as well as providing significant mass delivery to a Jupiter transfer orbit.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Monk, Timothy
(Zero Point Frontiers Corp. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Holladay, Jon
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Sanders, Terry
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Hampton, Bryan
(Zero Point Frontiers Corp. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
May 22, 2012
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Launch Operations
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 2012 Global Space Exploration Conference
Location: Washington, DC
Country: United States
Start Date: May 22, 2012
End Date: May 24, 2012
Sponsors: International Astronautical Federation, American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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