793. A Total Perspective Weight Technique for Advanced Manned Spacecraft


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W Heineman: 793. A Total Perspective Weight Technique for Advanced Manned Spacecraft. 1969.



The technology of weight began for manned spacecraft with the advent of Project Mercury. The weight trends of Project Mercury began to assume many of the previously observed patterns for aircraft and unmanned spacecraft. The Gemini and Apollo Programs continued to add similar weight patterns to the growing data bank. Drawing heavily from these three projects, but allowing for the future through increasing spacecraft size and advancing technology, estimating and forecasting techniques have been developed to provide immediate response to the basic needs of advanced design.
The relationship between manned spacecraft size and weight is shown to be a primary parameter for estimating from a technological and engineering standpoint. After a weight estimate is made, a compatible weight growth forecast is made, dependent on the primary parameter of program maturity, which is obtained from a combination of time-oriented parameters and the historically reported weight status. This technique is applicable to all manned spacecraft, including space stations, and provides an immediate programmatic perspective and answer to the advanced design questions of weight and size. The tools of this technique have been used for several years at the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, and appear to offer reasonably acceptable estimates and forecasts.
In this complex age of electronic computers and manned, moon-orbiting spacecraft, a simple, important requirement persists: to retard unwarranted weight growth. Weight engineers, and more importantly, program managers must be made more aware of the simplified fundamentals of weight technology. This paper, although broad in nature, involves the concept that the greatest advances in weight technology are obtainable through fundamental observations and applications.


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