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  Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment

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Author Topic:   Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment
cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 03-08-2013 07:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment
On June 15, 2011, the Air Force Space Command established a new vision, mission, and set of goals to ensure continued U.S. dominance in space and cyberspace mission areas. Subsequently, and in coordination with the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Space and Missile Systems Center, and the 14th and 24th Air Forces, the Air Force Space Command identified four long-term science and technology (S&T) challenges critical to meeting these goals. One of these challenges is to provide full-spectrum launch capability at dramatically lower cost, and a reusable booster system (RBS) has been proposed as an approach to meet this challenge.

The Air Force Space Command asked the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council to conduct an independent review and assessment of the RBS concept prior to considering a continuation of RBS-related activities within the Air Force Research Laboratory portfolio and before initiating a more extensive RBS development program. The committee for the Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment was formed in response to that request and charged with reviewing and assessing the criteria and assumptions used in the current RBS plans, the cost model methodologies used to frame the RBS business case, and the technical maturity and development plans of key elements critical to RBS implementation.

The committee consisted of experts not connected with current RBS activities who have significant expertise in launch vehicle design and operation, research and technology development and implementation, space system operations, and cost analysis. The committee solicited and received input on the Air Force launch requirements, the baseline RBS concept, cost models and assessment, and technology readiness. The committee also received input from industry associated with RBS concept, industry independent of the RBS concept, and propulsion system providers which is summarized in Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment.

  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: National Academies Press (December 10, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0309266564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0309266567
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches

garymilgrom
Member

Posts: 1571
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 03-08-2013 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't understand the research behind this book. Are they suggesting NASA stop work on the SLS and go back to a Shuttle-type of technology? The cover image seems to indicate this.

I also thought the Air Force had advocated for expendable launch vehicles for some time now.

Also this book is $42 at Amazon. That seems high for a short (100 pg) two-year old research project.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-08-2013 10:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is an Air Force study for Air Force purposes; it does not directly involve NASA or necessarily have any influence on the Space Launch System.

The Air Force has been flying the X-37B for several years now, a reusable mini-spaceplane launched on an ELV. It would seem a natural extension of that work to consider pairing the X-37B with a reusable booster — though that may not be the driving force of this study.

kr4mula
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-08-2013 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is more a historical document now, as Air Force Space Command essentially lost interest in RBS well before this was published. As a result, AFRL was unable to fund anything beyond the study stage.

kr4mula
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cinci, OH
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 03-08-2013 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kr4mula   Click Here to Email kr4mula     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In case you're interested in reading it without having to buy the book, you can download it free via the National Academy of Sciences website.

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