Thursday, September 14, 2006

Science and Technology, Reusable Launch Vehicle

The Lockheed Martin Reusable Launch Vehicle on the launch padNASA's Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) program has dual objectives: to demonstrate technologies leading to a new generation of space boosters capable of delivering payloads at significantly lower cost,
and to provide a technology base for development of advanced commercial launch systems that will make U.S. aerospace manufacturers more competitive in the global market. x33-3_072.jpg (72 dpi) - 30027 Bytes x33-3_300.jpg (300 dpi) - 187346 Bytes
The Reusable Launch Vehicle is shown here deploying a satellite.Launched in 1994, the RLV program moved ahead on two fronts in 1996 with a restructuring of the X-34 air-launched small booster project and selection of a contractor for development of the larger X-33 technology demonstrator.
x33-5_072.jpg (72 dpi) - 29606 Bytesx33-5_300.jpg (300 dpi) - 209558 Bytes

In development for first flight in 1999 is the NASA/Lockheed Martin X-33 Advanced Technology Demonstrator, intended as the prototype of a 21st century low-cost-to-orbit reusable launch vehicle.

Ames Research Center will contribute thermal protection technology and Langley Research Center will handle computational fluid dynamics and aerodynamic testing.

Industry firms participating include AlliedSignal Aerospace, Torrance, California, which is developing advanced avionics and hydraulic power systems; Oceaneering Space Systems, Houston, Texas (re-entry thermal control); and Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, Massachusetts (navigation and guidance technology). Reusable Launch Vehicle FULL TEXT

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