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The reusable launch vehicle technology programToday's launch systems have major shortcomings that will increase in significance in the future, and thus are principal drivers for seeking major improvements in space transportation. They are too costly; insufficiently reliable, safe, and operable; and increasingly losing market share to international competition. For the United States to continue its leadership in the human exploration and wide ranging utilization of space, the first order of business must be to achieve low cost, reliable transportatin to Earth orbit. NASA's Access to Space Study, in 1993, recommended the development of a fully reusable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) rocket vehicle as an Agency goal. The goal of the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) technology program is to mature the technologies essential for a next-generation reusable launch system capable of reliably serving National space transportation needs at substantially reduced costs. The primary objectives of the RLV technology program are to (1) mature the technologies required for the next-generation system, (2) demonstrate the capability to achieve low development and operational cost, and rapid launch turnaround times and (3) reduce business and technical risks to encourage significant private investment in the commercial development and operation of the next-generation system. Developing and demonstrating the technologies required for a Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) rocket is a focus of the program becuase past studies indicate that it has the best potential for achieving the lowest space access cost while acting as an RLV technology driver (since it also encompasses the technology requirements of reusable rocket vehicles in general).
Document ID
19950058868
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Cook, S. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, Alabama, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1995
Subject Category
LAUNCH VEHICLES AND SPACE VEHICLES
Report/Patent Number
AIAA PAPER 95-6153
Meeting Information
AIAA, Aerospace Planes and Hypersonics Technologies Conference(Chattanooga, TN)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other