257. An Approach to Weight Estimation of Manned Space Entry Vehicles


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O A Kelley: 257. An Approach to Weight Estimation of Manned Space Entry Vehicles. 1960.



This paper was presented at the Nineteenth National Conference of the Society of Aeronautical Weight Engineers at Los Angeles, California, May 16 – 19, 1960. An approach to preliminary design weight estimation and weight optimization of manned space entry vehicles is described in this paper. The approach was developed as part of a comprehensive configuration investigation conducted by Vought Astronautics and is presented by means of an example study.
Lifting configurations with L/D ratios of 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 are chosen for study. Each configuration is investigated for both satellite and circumlunar missions. The structural cooling methods considered are radiation, ablation and a combination of radiation plus ablation.
A method of obtaining unit average structural weight and structural ratio for lifting entry vehicles is presented in detail with sample calculations included. Structural weight ratio is developed as a function of L/D, wing loading, reference temperature, method of structural cooling and type of mission. An iterative method of obtaining gross weight as a function of the above parameters plus contents (equipment and systems) weight is shown.
The approach to weight estimation of manned space entry vehicles presented herein is believed to be readily adaptable to any ground rules regarding materials, method of cooling, mission and vehicle configuration. The approach given is intended for use in comparing different vehicle and heat protection schemes prior to selection of a configuration for detailed analysis and design.


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