A general architectural design sequence is described to create a highly efficient, operable, and supportable design that achieves an affordable, repeatable, and sustainable transportation function. The paper covers the following aspects of this approach in more detail: (1) vehicle architectural concept considerations (including important strategies for greater reusability); (2) vehicle element propulsion system packaging considerations; (3) vehicle element functional definition; (4) external ground servicing and access considerations; and, (5) simplified guidance, navigation, flight control and avionics communications considerations. Additionally, a technology integration strategy is forwarded that includes: (a) ground and flight test prior to production commitments; (b) parallel stage propellant storage, such as concentric-nested tanks; (c) high thrust, LOX-rich, LOX-cooled first stage earth-to-orbit main engine; (d) non-toxic, day-of-launch-loaded propellants for upper stages and in-space propulsion; (e) electric propulsion and aero stage control.
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
47th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference; 31 Jul. - 3 Aug. 2011; San Diego, CA; United States