NASA's CSTI Earth-to-Orbit Propulsion Program: On-target Technology Transfer to Advanced Space Flight Programs 901044

The Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) Propulsion Program was initiated in 1988 as a major element of NASA's Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI), a set of some ten different program elements directed to the revitalization of the U.S.'s space technology resource upon which future spaceflight missions will be able to draw. Through the ETO Program the Nation is investing $ 20-30 million/year in the development and demonstration of needed design and analysis tools and computational means, advanced materials and processes, and very advanced systems-synthesis methodologies to enable advanced, highly reliable liquid hydrogen- and hydrocarbon-fueled, pump-fed rocket engines to be acquired and operated at significantly reduced technical risk and cost (e.g., vis-a-vis the SSME). This paper overviews the Program, reflecting several examples of how it is supporting current flight programs as well as future-engine new-start systems, with observations on how technology-transfer to the user is being implemented.


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