Launch Vehicle Recovery System Requirements 620334
Primary considerations in the design and development of a recovery system applicable to present expendable first stage launch vehicles in the Saturn class are discussed. The three critical phases of flight that define characteristics of a recovery system are broken down into: (1) conditions and requirements between stage separation to re-entry; (2) reentry; (3) terminal descent and landing. The degree of criticalness is primarily influenced by the conditions at stage cutoff and separation.
Vehicle considerations that must be investigated in establishing the requirements of a recovery system are presented. In addition, two programs initiated at George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA, Huntsville, to substantiate a recovery program for launch vehicles are reviewed. They are the H-l engine salt water immersion tests and the booster retrieval exercises at sea.