Space Shuttle Structural Design Concepts and Fabrication Problems 700768
One of the next steps in man's exploration of space is the development of a reusable space system capable of transporting men and equipment to near-earth orbits and returning them safely to earth. NASA's Space Shuttle Program is designed to achieve this goal in the 1970's with a reusable space orbiter and a reusable booster. This paper identifies the structural problems inherent in these craft and discusses the structural details of the orbiter design being studied by North American Rockwell's Space Division. In this Phase B study, which is being conducted under contract for NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center, cost is accorded primary consideration in all technical tradeoffs.