Advances in Ground Operations for the Next Generation Space Launch Vehicle Programs

by Mark Moeller, Mechanical and Fluid Systems, Development, San Diego, United States,
Shelly Ewing, Mechanical and Fluid Systems, Development, San Diego, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


For over thirty years, large launch vehicles such as Saturn, Delta, Atlas, and Titan have successfully provided the world with access to space. The emphasis of each of those programs was focused on maximizing launch vehicle performance. More recently, in the Space Shuttle program, this traditional emphasis was widened to include the achievement of cost and schedule goals. Future launch vehicle programs, such as the National Launch System (NLS) and the Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO); will need to satisfy even more stringent requirements. Low life cycle costs, high launch rates, demanding surge capacities, short turnaround times, and continuous program evolution and growth considerations will shape the next generation space launch vehicle programs. More than ever, efficient ground operations will play an important role in meeting the requirements of these new programs.

Subject Headings: Space exploration | Aircraft and spacecraft | Vehicles | Equipment and machinery | Scheduling | Life cycles | Orbits | Modular structures

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