SDLV/CEV exclusive images and info

by Chris Bergin

A fascinating document has been acquired by this site, showing NASA’s plans for the Shuttle-Derived Launch Vehicle (SDLV) concepts.

Due to the vast depth of the document, an introduction follows, with a forum thread for larger resolution images and full text from the paper – one which was signed off on by NASA, United Space Alliance (USA), Lockheed Martin, ATK Thiokol Propulsion and Boeing.

The document provides information on the study to work towards Shuttle-Derived Launch Vehicle (SDLV) concepts that have been developed by a collaborative team comprising the Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Kennedy Space Center, ATK-Thiokol, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, The Boeing Company, and United Space Alliance.

The purpose of the study was to provide timely information on a full spectrum of low-risk, cost-effective options for STS-Derived Launch Vehicle concepts to support the definition of crew and cargo launch requirements for the Space Exploration Vision.

“Since the SDLV options use high-reliability hardware, existing facilities, and proven processes, they can provide relatively low-risk capabilities to launch extremely large payloads to low Earth orbit,” the document noted in its opening statement. “This capability to reliably lift very large, high-dollar-value payloads could reduce mission operational risks by minimizing the number of complex on orbit operations compared to architectures based on multiple smaller launchers. The SDLV options also offer several logical spiral development paths for larger exploration payloads.

“All of these development paths make practical and cost-effective use of existing Space Shuttle Program (SSP) hardware, infrastructure, and launch and flight operations systems.

“By utilizing these existing assets, the SDLV project could support the safe and orderly transition of the current SSP through the planned end of life in 2010. The SDLV concept definition work during 2004 and 2005 focused on three main configuration alternatives: a side-mount heavy lifter (~77 MT payload), an in-line medium lifter (~22 MT Crew Exploration Vehicle payload), and an in-line heavy lifter (>110 MT payload).”

The document provides an overview of the configuration, performance capabilities, reliability estimates, concept of operations, and development plans for each of the various SDLV alternatives.

Written by William J. Rothschild, Director, Space Transportation, Boeing NASA Systems – Debra A. Bailey, Project Engineer, Space Shuttle R&D, Boeing NASA Systems – Edward M. Henderson, Deputy Manager, Strategic Planning Office, Space Shuttle Program, NASA/Johnson Space Center – and Chris Crumbly, Manager, Cargo Launch Vehicle Study, Space Transportation Programs and Projects Office (MSFC), the document provides a wide ranging study into the vehicles abilities, processing and even projected critical failure ratios.

“Space Transportation System (STS) assets have been in operation since 1981. They are well understood from technical performance, reliability, operations, and cost aspects,” noted the study, backing the transition to SDLV capabilities.

“Adapting these proven STS assets to yield new launch systems would take full advantage of demonstrated mature, reliable, human-rated systems to develop impressive performance capabilities with minimum technical, schedule, cost, and programmatic uncertainties. Independent studies done by several industry and NASA teams have shown that such STS-Derived Launch Vehicle (SDLV) concepts offer payload performance over a wide range from 16 to 110 metric tons (MT) to low Earth orbit (LEO).”

Forum thread with expanded higher resolution images and full text from the document:

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