Shuttle II 871335

This paper presents a status report on the study of a next-generation manned launch system, called Shuttle II, being conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center. Underlying reasons for considering such a system include the need for low-cost, safe, and reliable manned access to space. System and operational characteristics for a Shuttle II vehicle are presented. The need for fully reusable launch systems with radically simpler ground and flight operations is stated to be critical in reducing launch costs. Advancing technologies have a major impact on the choice of vehicle concepts. For a near-term level of technology, a two-stage vertical-takeoff rocket vehicle has been selected for further in-depth Shuttle II studies. The role of the Shuttle 11 vehicle in a proposed space transportation system, which includes heavy lift and Space Shuttle complementary manned systems, is discussed.


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