849. Space Shuttle Payload Sensitivities


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B H Oman, M L French: 849. Space Shuttle Payload Sensitivities. 1970.



The fundamental purpose of the space shuttle program is to develop a low-cost, economical space transportation system. The current concept to achieve this goal is a two-stage, fully reusable launch system. Payload for a typical mission is 40,000 lb, with a gross liftoff weight of 3. 5 million lb. Careful vehicle optimization will be required to achieve this capability. The low payload fraction causes the payload to be very sensitive to most parameters. Management needs accurate payload sensitivity data in order to make rational design decisions. This presentation shows the sensitivity of space shuttle payload to various parameters, based on a configuration recently investigated by the Convair division of General Dynamics. The main tool used in obtaining sensitivity data for this configuration is the Convair Space Shuttle Synthesis (CVSSS) program, a combined trajectory and weight/sizing computer program that has been in use for several years. One conclusion that can be drawn from the sensitivity data is that a great deal more effort can be invested to reduce weight in the orbiter than in the booster. Another is that engine reliability would have to be relatively low in order to justify the weight penalties or providing engine-out operational capability for the orbiter.


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