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Future earth orbit transportation systems/technology implicationsAssuming Space Shuttle technology to be state-of-the-art, projected technological advances to improve the capabilities of single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) derivatives are examined. An increase of about 30% in payload performance can be expected from upgrading the present Shuttle system through weight and drag reductions and improvements in the propellants and engines. The ODINEX (Optimal Design Integration Executive Computer Program) program has been used to explore design options. An advanced technology SSTO baseline system derived from ODINEX analysis has a conventional wing-body configuration using LOX/LH engines, three with two-position nozzles with expansion ratios of 40 and 200 and four with fixed nozzles with an expansion ratio of 40. Two assisted-takeoff approaches are under consideration in addition to a concept in which the orbital vehicle takes off empty using airbreathing propulsion and carries out a rendezvous with two large cryogenic tankers carrying propellant at an altitude of 6100 m. Further approaches under examination for propulsion, aerothermodynamic design, and design integration are described.
Document ID
19760059910
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Henry, B. Z. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Decker, J. P. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, Va., United States)
Date Acquired
August 8, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1976
Publication Information
Publication: Astronautics and Aeronautics
Volume: 14
Subject Category
SPACECRAFT DESIGN, TESTING AND PERFORMANCE
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other