Session

Technical Session X: Launch Update

SSC04-X-8.pdf (1063 kB)

Abstract

In January 2004, President Bush announced his new vision for Space Exploration, calling for a step-by-step approach to opening new frontiers, furthering scientific research, returning to the Moon, and ultimately enabling exploration to Mars and other destinations. Considering the ultimate objective in exploring the universe and beyond, what are the tools needed to further this vision? A few key components come to mind: affordable and frequent access to space, technology demonstration platforms, and low cost small satellite and robotic missions. Reusable launch vehicles (RLVs), such as Kistler Aerospace’s K-1, and demonstration missions for technology experiments and small satellites together can play a key role in implementing the U.S. vision for space exploration. Conducting exploration missions will require cost-effective launch alternatives to existing services and increased flight opportunities for experiments and small satellites. The K-1 will be a potential launch service provider to expand access to space for exploration, such as for new small satellite missions (like Clementine from 1994) or the more recent Mars lunar and rover missions. For example, the K-1 Multiple Small Payload Adapter-1 can fly up to 3 minisatellites, with satellite mass up to 1,100 lb (500 kg) each, and the K-1 Multiple Small Payload Adapter-2 can fly up to 8 micro-satellites, with satellite mass up to 275 lb (125 kg) each, along with a primary payload. Users share the price of a K-1 LEO launch and integration. For small exploration missions to Lunar and Mars injection orbits, the K-1 can be outfitted with an Active Dispenser (expendable upper stage) to fly dedicated or multiple small satellite rideshare missions for exploration purposes. In addition, space exploration will require testing and re-testing of critical technologies needed for going to the Moon, Mars and beyond. The K-1 provides a flight-test platform for demonstrating technologies, such as advanced structures, materials, thermal protection systems, avionics, microgravity, and others, in a full-flight environment on a typical K-1 mission to LEO. Kistler has already defined standard experiment environments, accommodations and interfaces services to facilitate integration. The U.S. exploration vision has the potential to drive innovation. This paper outlines the potential leadership role that small satellite and technology demonstration missions flown on reusable launch vehicles such as the K-1 can play in implementing this vision.

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Aug 12th, 10:15 AM

Space Exploration via Technology Demonstration and Small Satellite Missions flown on Reusable Launch Vehicles

In January 2004, President Bush announced his new vision for Space Exploration, calling for a step-by-step approach to opening new frontiers, furthering scientific research, returning to the Moon, and ultimately enabling exploration to Mars and other destinations. Considering the ultimate objective in exploring the universe and beyond, what are the tools needed to further this vision? A few key components come to mind: affordable and frequent access to space, technology demonstration platforms, and low cost small satellite and robotic missions. Reusable launch vehicles (RLVs), such as Kistler Aerospace’s K-1, and demonstration missions for technology experiments and small satellites together can play a key role in implementing the U.S. vision for space exploration. Conducting exploration missions will require cost-effective launch alternatives to existing services and increased flight opportunities for experiments and small satellites. The K-1 will be a potential launch service provider to expand access to space for exploration, such as for new small satellite missions (like Clementine from 1994) or the more recent Mars lunar and rover missions. For example, the K-1 Multiple Small Payload Adapter-1 can fly up to 3 minisatellites, with satellite mass up to 1,100 lb (500 kg) each, and the K-1 Multiple Small Payload Adapter-2 can fly up to 8 micro-satellites, with satellite mass up to 275 lb (125 kg) each, along with a primary payload. Users share the price of a K-1 LEO launch and integration. For small exploration missions to Lunar and Mars injection orbits, the K-1 can be outfitted with an Active Dispenser (expendable upper stage) to fly dedicated or multiple small satellite rideshare missions for exploration purposes. In addition, space exploration will require testing and re-testing of critical technologies needed for going to the Moon, Mars and beyond. The K-1 provides a flight-test platform for demonstrating technologies, such as advanced structures, materials, thermal protection systems, avionics, microgravity, and others, in a full-flight environment on a typical K-1 mission to LEO. Kistler has already defined standard experiment environments, accommodations and interfaces services to facilitate integration. The U.S. exploration vision has the potential to drive innovation. This paper outlines the potential leadership role that small satellite and technology demonstration missions flown on reusable launch vehicles such as the K-1 can play in implementing this vision.