A two stage to orbit system for placement of payloads into low Earth orbit is described. The concept relies on existing technology with airframes, propulsion, guidance and control systems that have been previously developed. The first stage in the two stage system is an unmanned hypersonic air-breathing Ferry vehicle employing turbofan engines at low velocity and ramjet engines at high velocity. The Ferry stage boosts the system to an altitude of 25 km and a speed of Mach 5, at which point the Ferry stage returns to the takeoff location and the upper stage ignites. The payload is carried by the second stage to orbit. The design of the second stage employs cryogenic H 2/O 2 rocket engines. The second stage is capable of controlled reentry, and the entire system is fully reusable. This two stage to orbit concept with horizontal takeoff and horizontal landing allows for safe, rapid access to space. The end-to-end system design and preliminary trajectory optimization is presented. The feasibility of the concept is then demonstrated through a high-fidelity simulation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2010|
|Event||46th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit - Nashville, TN, United States|
Duration: Jul 25 2010 → Jul 28 2010
|Other||46th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit|
|Period||7/25/10 → 7/28/10|