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Test and space experience with protoflight spacecraftData are presented on environmental testing of protoflight spacecraft, which are defined as spacecraft designed in advance to serve as both a prototype and a flight model. Protoflight spacecraft discussed include DME-A, IMP-F, RAE-A, ISIS-A, TIROS-M, SAS-A, IMP-I, ISIS-B, SSS, ERTS-A, IMP-H, SAS-B, RAE-B, IMP-J, AE-C, and SMS-A. Comparative data on conventional and protoflight test programs are given together with results of the in-test performance of the 16 protoflight craft and a comparison of the space performance of 53 conventional flight spacecraft and the 16 protoflight ones. It is concluded that: (1) based on system-level test results, some additional risk of space failures appears to exist when a protoflight spacecraft is launched instead of a flight craft; (2) the space performance of all protoflight craft to date has been satisfactory, with failure rates slightly less than those for conventional flight craft; and (3) the results of the present study support the continued use of the protoflight concept.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Proceedings
Timmins, A. R.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, Md., United States)
Date Acquired
August 8, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1975
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Accession Number
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