Some Trends in Future Launch Vehicle Systems Technology 660463

Launch vehicle and spacecraft cost trends are examined. It is shown that lower unit costs are obtained for larger vehicles. With regard to intermediate Saturn vehicles, the Saturn IB evolutes using solid rockets are able to bridge much of the payload and cost effectiveness gaps between the Saturn IB and Saturn V. Post Saturn vehicles are also examined, with trends toward single-stage to orbit indicated.
One and a half stage vehicles consisting of solid or liquid rockets parallel stage to liquid core offer enhanced reliability and considerable payload flexibility. Performance is improved in these configurations by throttling. Lastly, reusable launch vehicles are examined as a trend for the late 1970's or the decade of the 1980's. Turn-around costs are indicated as the key to economic attractiveness for such reusable launch vehicles.


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