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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13534.
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REUSABLE BOOSTER SYSTEM

REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT

Committee for the Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                          OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13534.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS    500 Fifth Street, NW    Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study is based on work supported by Contract FA2517-11-C-7001 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Air Force. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-26656-7
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-26656-4

Cover: Design by Tim Warchocki.

Copies of this report are available free of charge from:

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
National Research Council
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Washington, DC 20001

Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13534.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.nationalacademies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13534.
×

RECENT REPORTS OF THE AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD

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Recapturing NASA’s Aeronautics Flight Research Capabilities (ASEB, 2012)

Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society (Space Studies Board [SSB] with ASEB, 2012)

An Interim Report on NASA’s Draft Space Technology Roadmaps (ASEB, 2011)

Limiting Future Collision Risk to Spacecraft: An Assessment of NASA’s Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs (ASEB, 2011)

Preparing for the High Frontier—the Role and Training of NASA Astronauts in the Post-Space Shuttle Era (ASEB, 2011)

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era (SSB with ASEB, 2011)

Summary of the Workshop to Identify Gaps and Possible Directions for NASA’s Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs (ASEB, 2011)

Advancing Aeronautical Safety: A Review of NASA’s Aviation Safety-Related Research Programs (ASEB, 2010)

Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research (Laboratory Assessments Board with ASEB, 2010)

Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth-Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Final Report (SSB with ASEB, 2010)

Final Report of the Committee to Review Proposals to the 2010 Ohio Third Frontier (OTF) Wright Projects Program (WPP) (ASEB, 2010)

America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs (SSB with ASEB, 2009)

Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2009)

An Assessment of NASA’s National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (ASEB, 2009)

Final Report of the Committee for the Review of Proposals to the 2009 Engineering and Physical Science Research and Commercialization Program of the Ohio Third Frontier Program (ASEB, 2009)

Fostering Visions for the Future: A Review of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (ASEB, 2009)

Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2009)

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Assessing the Research and Development Plan for the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Summary of a Workshop (ASEB, 2008)

A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program (ASEB, 2008)

Final Report of the Committee for the Review of Proposals to the 2008 Engineering Research and Commercialization Program of the Ohio Third Frontier Program (ASEB, 2008)

Final Report of the Committee to Review Proposals to the 2008 Ohio Research Scholars Program of the State of Ohio (ASEB, 2008)

Launching Science: Science Opportunities Provided by NASA’s Constellation System (SSB with ASEB, 2008)

Managing Space Radiation Risk in the New Era of Space Exploration (ASEB, 2008)

NASA Aeronautics Research: An Assessment (ASEB, 2008)

Review of NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program: An Interim Report (ASEB, 2008)

Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2008)

United States Civil Space Policy: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2008)

Wake Turbulence: An Obstacle to Increased Air Traffic Capacity (ASEB, 2008)

Limited copies of ASEB reports are available free of charge from:

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
National Research Council
The Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 334-2858/aseb@nas.edu
www.nationalacademies.org/aseb.html

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13534.
×

COMMITTEE FOR THE REUSABLE BOOSTER SYSTEM: REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT

DAVID M. VAN WIE, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Chair

EDWARD H. BOCK, Lockheed Martin Space Systems (retired)

YVONNE C. BRILL, INMARSAT (emerita)

ALLAN V. BURMAN, Jefferson Solutions

DAVID C. BYERS, Consultant

LEONARD H. CAVENY, Caveny Tech, LLC

ROBERT S. DICKMAN, AIAA

MARK K. JACOBS, Consultant

THOMAS J. LEE, Lee & Associates, LLC

C. KUMAR N. PATEL, Pranalytica, Inc.

DIANE ROUSSEL-DUPRE, Los Alamos National Laboratory

ROBERT L. SACKHEIM, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (retired)

POL D. SPANOS, Rice University

MITCHELL L.R. WALKER, Georgia Institute of Technology

BEN T. ZINN, Georgia Institute of Technology

Staff

JOHN WENDT, Senior Program Officer, Study Director

AMANDA THIBAULT, Research Associate

CATHERINE A. GRUBER, Editor

TERRI BAKER, Senior Program Assistant (until March 30, 2012)

RODNEY HOWARD, Senior Program Assistant (from April 1, 2012)

MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13534.
×

AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD

LESTER L. LYLES, The Lyles Group, Chair

AMY L. BUHRIG, The Boeing Company, Vice Chair

ELLA M. ATKINS, University of Michigan

INDERJIT CHOPRA, University of Maryland, College Park

JOHN-PAUL B. CLARKE, Georgia Institute of Technology

RAVI B. DEO, EMBR

VIJAY K. DHIR, University of California, Los Angeles

EARL H. DOWELL, Duke University

MICA R. ENDSLEY, SA Technologies

DAVID GOLDSTON, Natural Resources Defense Council

R. JOHN HANSMAN, JR., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

JOHN B. HAYHURST, The Boeing Company (retired)

WILLIAM L. JOHNSON, California Institute of Technology

RICHARD KOHRS, Independent Consultant, Dickinson, Texas

IVETT LEYVA, Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base

ELAINE S. ORAN, Naval Research Laboratory

HELEN L. REED, Texas A&M University

ELI RESHOTKO, Case Western Reserve University

EDMOND SOLIDAY, United Airlines (retired)

Staff

MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director

CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN, Administrative Coordinator

TANJA PILZAK, Manager, Program Operations

CELESTE A. NAYLOR, Information Management Associate

CHRISTINA O. SHIPMAN, Financial Officer

SANDRA WILSON, Financial Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13534.
×

Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Brian Cantwell, Stanford University,

John Casani, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,

Natalie W. Crawford, The RAND Corporation,

Robert L. Crippen, U.S. Navy (retired) and Thiokol Propulsion (retired),

David E. Crow, University of Connecticut and Pratt and Whitney (retired),

Joseph Hamaker, The Millennium Group International, LLC,

Debra Facktor Lepore, Stevens Institute of Technology,

Lester L. Lyles, U.S. Air Force (retired) and The Lyles Group, and

Alan Wilhite, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John D. Anderson, National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13534.
×

3.3.3    Propellant Management

3.3.4    Rocketback RTLS Maneuver Risk Reduction

3.4    IVHM Architecture

3.5    Adaptive Guidance and Control for Reusable Booster Systems

3.6    Secondary Risk Areas

3.6.1    Structures

3.6.2    Power, Fluid Thermal, and Actuation R&D

3.6.3    Assembly and Manufacturing

3.6.4    Upper-Stage Development

3.7    Operations and Infrastructure

3.7.1    Range Safety

3.7.2    Launch Readiness Reviews

3.7.3    Spacecraft Processing

3.7.4    Launch Vehicle Processing Options

3.7.5    Booster and Upper Stage(s) Processing

3.7.6    Booster/Upper Stage Integration and Checkout

3.7.7    RBS Transport and Pad Installation

3.7.8    Wet Dress Rehearsal

3.7.9    Payload Integration

3.7.10    Propellant Loading and Launch Countdown

3.7.11    Exhaust Ducts and Acoustic Suppression System

3.7.12    Flight Including Abort

3.7.13    Booster Landing and Safing

3.7.14    Postflight Booster Checkout, Maintenance, and Storage

3.7.15    Booster Depot Maintenance

3.8    Summary of RBS Risk Assessment and Mitigation Efforts

4    COST ASSESSMENT

4.1    Baseline Cost Modeling Approach and Assessment Overview

4.2    Assessment of Baseline Cost Modeling

4.2.1    Vehicle

4.2.2    Engines

4.2.3    Facilities

4.2.4    Operations

4.2.5    Cost Modeling Assessment Summary

4.3    RBS Business Case

4.3.1    Approach and Assumptions

4.3.2    Results, Sensitivities, and Uncertainty Ranges

4.3.3    Impact of Commercial Activities

4.4    Other Issues and Cost Considerations

5    PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION

5.1    Phased Approach to the Reduction of Risk

5.1.1    AG&C Development Phase

5.1.2    IVHM Development Phase

5.1.3    RBS Pathfinder Phase

5.1.4    Booster Engine Development

5.1.5    Reusable Booster Demonstrator Phase

5.1.6    RBS Y-Vehicle Development and Demonstration Phase

5.1.7    RBS Production Phase

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13534.
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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 fame [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.

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