Safety Considerations in Design of Manned Orbital and Space Vehicle Structures 660681

The problem of achieving safety in orbital and space vehicle structures is essentially the problem of obtaining a structural reliability of “one” in the engineering sense, not necessarily mathematical. This problem is not unique to space vehicle structures; manned aircraft also have this objective, and the “basic elements” that determine the structural safety of such vehicles are well established. A number of specific structures on the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft are reviewed to illustrate the considerations given to structural safety (including “fail safe” and “fracture tolerant” design) by the utilization and extension of these “basic elements.”


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