Apollo Lightcraft Project
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- This second year of the NASA/USRA-sponsored Advanced Aeronautical Design effort focused on systems integration and analysis of the Apollo Lightcraft. This beam-powered, single-stage-to-orbit vehicle is envisioned as the shuttlecraft of the 21st century. The five person vehicle was inspired largely by the Apollo Command Module, then reconfigured to include a new front seat with dual cockpit controls for the pilot and co-pilot, while still retaining the 3-abreast crew accommodations in the rear seat. The gross liftoff mass is 5550 kg, of which 500 kg is the payload and 300 kg is the LH2 propellant. The round trip cost to orbit is projected to be three orders of magnitude lower than the current space shuttle orbiter. The advanced laser-driven 5-speed combined-cycle engine has shiftpoints at Mach 1, 5, 11 and 25+. The Apollo Lightcraft can climb into low Earth orbit in three minutes, or fly to any spot on the globe in less than 45 minutes. Detailed investigations of the Apollo Lightcraft Project this second year further evolved the propulsion system design, while focusing on the following areas: (1) man/machine interface; (2) flight control systems; (3) power beaming system architecture; (4) re-entry aerodynamics; (5) shroud structural dynamics; and (6) optimal trajectory analysis. The principal new findings are documented. Advanced design efforts for the next academic year (1988/1989) will center on a one meter+ diameter spacecraft: the Lightcraft Technology Demonstrator (LTD). Detailed engineering design and analyses, as well as critical proof-of-concept experiments, will be carried out on this small, near-term machine. As presently conceived, the LTD could be constructed using state of the art components derived from existing liquid chemical rocket engine technology, advanced composite materials, and high power laser optics.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19890009141., Accession ID: 89N18512., NAS 1.26:184749., NASA-CR-184749., and NASA/USRA Advanced Design Program 4th Annual Summer Conference; 13-17 Jun. 1988; Cocoa Beach, FL; United States.
- No Copyright.
View MARC record | catkey: 15691615