2175. Making Single-Stage-To-Orbit Work


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Ian O. MacConochie: 2175. Making Single-Stage-To-Orbit Work. 1993.



A number of studies of manned earth-to-orbit transportation systems have been made in support of future space activities. Considerable emphasis in the studies has been placed on full reusability as a means of reducing operational costs. De first two stages of the Saturn V vehicle are used as a means of comparing expendables with two-stage fully reusables. Like the Saturn vehicle, LOX/RP is used in the first stage and LOX/LH is used in the second stage of the example vertical-takeoff-horizontal-landing launch vehicle with reusable stages. In an example reusable single stage, LOX, RP, and LH are used in the same stage. Staging normally has a strong influence in reducing launch vehicle weight, However, when the reusability rule is invoked, the difference between a two-stage and a single-stage, particularly in dry weight, is not large. This leads to the selection of the single-stage reusable because the concept is less complex than the two-stage reusable. A horizontal-takeoff, horizontal-landing single-stage option using air breathers is briefly discussed, but the reusable dual-fuel, vertical-takeoff is the focal point of the paper.


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