Flight control augmentation for AFT CG launch vehicles
- Barret, Chris
- Jan 18, 1996.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The Space Shuttle was only the first step in achieving routine access to space. Recently, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has been studying a whole spectrum of new launch vehicles (L/V's) for space transportation. Some of these could transport components of the Space Station to orbit, and some could take us to Mars and beyond to boldly expand our frontiers of knowledge. In all our future launch vehicle (L/V) designs, decreasing the structural weight will always be of great concern. This is tantamount to increased payload capability, which in turn means reduced cost-per-pound to orbit. One very significant increase in payload capability has been defined. In a L/V recently studied at MSFC it has been shown that a sizable weight savings can be realized by a rearrangement of the internal propellant tanks. Studies have been conducted both at MSFC and at Martin Marietta Corporation, maker of the Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) which show that a very substantial weight can be saved by inverting the relative positions of the liquid hydrogen (LH2) and the liquid oxygen (LOX) propellant tanks in a particular L/V studied. As the vehicle sits on the launch pad, in the conventional configuration the heavier LOX tank is located on top of the lighter LH2. This requires a heavy structural member between the two tanks to prevent the lighter LH2 tank from being crushed. This configuration also requires large, long, and even drag producing LOX feed lines running the length of the vehicle on the exterior fuselage. If the relative position of the propellant tanks is inverted, both the heavy structural separation member and the long LOX feed lines could be deleted. While the structures community at MSFC was elated with this finding, the LOX tank aft configuration gave the vehicle an aft center-of-gravity (cg) location which surfaced controllability concerns. In the conventional configuration the L/V is controlled in the ascent trajectory by the gimballing of its rocket engines. Studies have been conducted at MSFC which showed that the resulting aft cg configured L/V would not be adequately controllable with the engine gimballing alone.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19960012286., Accession ID: 96N18523., NAS 1.15:111265., NASA-TM-111265., NIPS-96-07982., and AIAA 34th Aerospace Science Meeting; 15-18 Jan. 1996; Reno, NV; United States.
- No Copyright.
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