167. A Weight Engineers View of the Space Age Vehicle


SAWE Members get a $200 store credit each year.*

Become a SAWE Member

*Store credit coupon available at checkout, click the button in your shopping cart to apply the coupon.
Not applicable to SAWE textbooks and current conference technical papers.


J R Beisel: 167. A Weight Engineers View of the Space Age Vehicle. 1958.



Today’s space vehicle systems are more complex operationally than our finest commercial aircraft. Yet you might say they represent the crude beginning of an age. Tremendous work lies ahead to increase their reliability to a scale comparable with aircraft. Guidance systems, controls, propulsion systems, propellants and structures will have to undergo development, trial, modification and improvement. But it is not enough to develop each of these systems separately for the smallest of changes affect vehicle weight. When it takes up to 1000 pounds of vehicle to carry a single pound of payload into space, then every last ounce has a bearing on success or failure. In evaluating the effect of each change or development on vehicle performance, we depend on accurate weight estimating methods.
This paper presents a simple method for estimating the weight of any space vehicle, whether liquid or solid propelled, and for comparing today’s vehicles with those of tomorrow. This method may be used by weight engineers to compute the weight effects of multiple staging, to determine the eight reductions available through use of improved propellants, and to demonstrate the increased performance capability made possible by optimum structure design.


SKU: Paper0167 Category: