1991-04-01

Two Stage Fully Reusable Space Launch Vehicle Configuration and Performance Trades 911184

There is a need for a space launch system that can provide ready, reliable, unencumbered access to space. The need exists for a highly reliable launch system that can operate from numerous available sites, that can provide all azimuth launch capability, that is fully reusable, and that can carry significant payloads into low earth orbit. A vehicle concept was developed to demonstrate the ability of near term aeromechanics and propulsion technology to support such a system. The vehicle was composed of two stages. The system takes off horizontally and both stages return to a horizontal landing. Turbojet, ramjet, and rocket propulsion is used. The sensitivity of the system to thrust, drag, weight, and staging Mach number was examined. The two stage system is able to accommodate a range of performance variations yet still retain significant mission potential.

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