Browse Publications Technical Papers 2004-01-2285
2004-07-19

Guidelines for Developing Spacecraft Structural Requirements; A Thermal and Environmental Perspective 2004-01-2285

Spacecraft are typically designed with a primary focus on weight in order to meet launch vehicle performance parameters. However, for pressurized and/or man-rated spacecraft, it is also necessary to have an understanding of the vehicle operating environments to properly design the pressure vessel. Proper sizing of the pressure vessel requires an understanding of the space vehicle’s life cycle and compares the physical design optimization (weight and launch “cost”) to downstream operational complexity and total life cycle cost. This paper provides an overview of some major environmental design drivers and presents a generic set of cracking pressures for both positive and negative pressure relief valves that encompasses environmental effects for a variety of launch and landing sites. In addition, an example is provided to compare up-front launch weight penalties against downstream operational constraints.

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