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Aero-Assisted Pre-Stage for Ballistic and Aero-Assisted Launch VehiclesA concept of an aero-assisted pre-stage is proposed, which enables launch of both ballistic and aero-assisted launch vehicles from conventional runways. The pre-stage can be implemented as a delta-wing with a suitable undercarriage, which is mated with the launch vehicle, so that their flight directions are coaligned. The ample wing area of the pre-stage combined with the thrust of the launch vehicle ensure prompt roll-out and take-off of the stack at airspeeds typical for a conventional jet airliner. The launch vehicle is separated from the pre-stage as soon as safe altitude is achieved, and the desired ascent trajectory is reached. Nominally, the pre-stage is non-powered. As an option, to save the propellant of the launch vehicle, the pre-stage may have its own short-burn propulsion system, whereas the propulsion system of the launch vehicle is activated at the separation point. A general non-dimensional analysis of performance of the pre-stage from roll-out to separation is carried out and applications to existing ballistic launch vehicle and hypothetical aero-assisted vehicles (spaceplanes) are considered.
Document ID
20150005654
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Ustinov, Eugene A. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
April 13, 2015
Publication Date
September 11, 2012
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles and Launch Operations
Aerodynamics
Meeting Information
AIAA Space Conference(Pasadena, CA)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
access to space
launch vehicles