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UNIT I

Key aspects for launch vehicle selection:


Propellant
Stages
Payload
Load Factors Produced by Launch Vehicle to Decide Payload
Orbits Leo/ Heo/ Gso
Cost Effectiveness
Thermal Environment
Launch Vehicles
Space Commercialization
Space Transportation
Availability
Commercial Spacecraft
Life Cycle Costs
Risk
Ser Requirements
Selecting the proper launch vehicle for a space mission is critical to the successful
completion of mission goals. Launch vehicle requires evaluating available vehicle options versus
payload system requirements. In particular, the selected vehicle must accommodate the physical
dimensions of the payload and meet minimum requirements for lift capacity, while effecting the best
balance of cost, reliability, launch location, and availability.

What Comprises A Launch System. Mission planning, operational launch sites, range
operations, launch vehicle integration and payload integration.

What Comprises A Launch System. Mission planning, operational launch sites, range
operations, launch vehicle integration and payload integration.

Launch Systems Available Today. Expendable domestic and foreign launch systems, price
estimations, payload capability and volume, orbital element capabilities, risk factors and
availability. The Space Shuttle as the only operational example of a reusable launch vehicle.

Launch Vehicle Systems of the Future. Alternative launch systems, that are currently under
development, what they promise, and how they promise to provide a better mission. Will they
work out?

Evaluating Alternative Launch System Concepts. How to evaluate alternative launch vehicles
for your mission. How to evaluate future launch vehicle concepts from the business and
technical perspective. Evaluating the differences between expendable and reusable launch
vehicles, and other alternatives.
Understanding Solid, Liquid and Hybrid Launch Vehicles. Examination of the technical,
performance and cost issues where different rocket propulsion alternatives are integrated into
a vehicle. When are solid rockets the best vehicle choice? When are storable liquid rockets the
best vehicle choice? When are cryogenic liquid rockets the best vehicle choice? When are
hybrid rockets the best vehicle choice?

High Technology & Launch Vehicles. How have technologies, high-performance materials and
solid state electronics been integrated into launch vehicles? What technology is being used to
design and develop new launch vehicle systems? What is the future direction of technology in
launch vehicles?

Launch Vehicle Systems & Environments. Understanding the extreme heat and cold
environments which launch vehicles must survive. Understanding the impact of vibration,
shock, acceleration, dynamic pressure and other environments on both the launch vehicle and
payload.

Mission Safety, Reliability and Risk Considerations. What are the drivers for higher standards
of safety and reliability? What reliability risks exist with vehicles having limited track records?
How can launch vehicles be safer for people, property and environment along the flight path?
Are there strategies to mitigate risk?

Strategic Thinking and the Future of Launch Vehicles. What strategies lead to successful launch
vehicles? How do you separate fact from the smoke-and-mirrors? What strategies apply to
expendable launch vehicles? What strategies apply to reusable launch vehicles?
Why are there Problems with Today's Launch Vehicles? Many launch vehicles flying today
have their roots in the dawn of the space age. Why has the operation of delivering payloads to
space remained both unreliable and costly?

Launch Vehicles

The launch vehicle group has the responsibility of selecting the launch vehicle and designing the
interaction between the launch vehicle and the payload to be used in each mission. Each available
launch vehicle has different payload characteristics including: the amount of force the payload will
endure, the dimensions on the centaur, and where the payload is stored. The choice of a launch
vehicle that will put the payload into the proper orbit for the mission is important. Thus, the launch
vehicle group needs the size, mass, and orbital destination of the spacecraft to make an educated
selection of a launch vehicle.

1.1.1 Launch Vehicles Available


There are many launch vehicles are available for use. This section concentrates on eight specific launch
vehicles. The seven launch vehicles described in this section include five American launch vehicles, one
European launch vehicle, and one Russian launch vehicle. The American launch vehicles included in this
section are the Atlas, K-1, Delta, Pegasus, and Taurus launch vehicles. Also included in this section are:
1. European
2. 2. Ariane
3. Russian

1.1.2 Launch Vehicle Capabilities


The design team has to know what the capabilities of the launch vehicles are in order to make an
educated decision of which launch vehicle is to be used. Using criteria such as lift capacity, size of the
centaur, and the maximum altitude, the team can narrow the options down to a few launch vehicles.
Di_erent alternatives are discussed to give an idea of the types of launch vehicles available.
1.1.3 Deciding which Launch Vehicle to Use
Determining which launch vehicle meets the needs of the mission depends on various factors ranging
from maximum payload capacity to the forces the vehicle produces on the payload during lift-o_. If the
mission requires a payload of 500kg, the Pegasus launch vehicle would not be chosen since it can only
carry a payload of 450kg. The design team must choose a launch vehicle that has the lift capacity to
support the mission. The launch vehicle must also be reliable because the payload is expensive. Ideally,
the design team wants the launch vehicle to create little or no vibrations, however, in reality, engine
oscillations and other components of the launch vehicle produce vibrations that need to be accounted.
The amount of vibration that the payload endures is dependent on the launch vehicle chosen.
Therefore, choosing a launch vehicle that minimizes these vibrations is essential. The launch vehicle
needs to be able to reach the orbit that the mission intends. A launch vehicle aimed at taking payloads
to LEO would not be used in a mission that requires a GEO orbit. The inclination of the orbit needs to
be considered when selecting the launch vehicle as well. Obtaining a certain inclination angle is
dependent on where the launch takes place. A launch vehicle would be chosen that can obtain the
inclination angle the mission requires.

1.1.4 Characteristics of Spacecraft Necessary to Choose a Launch Vehicle


The spacecraft needs to work well with a launch vehicle since designing a new launch vehicle would
not be the best course of action. Some of the criteria required are the spacecrafts overall dimensions,
mass, altitude destination, and attitude destination. The design group must choose a launch vehicle
that will fit the payload. Depending on which launch vehicle is selected; there are only certain
inclination angles where the vehicle can be launched to, all depending on the launch site. In order to
get a payload to a given altitude the vehicle must be powerful enough to reach the necessary orbit. For
instance, a Pegasus would not be able to reach GEO. Other characteristics could be considered, but are
not as necessary as the ones listed above. The design of the structure of the payload is primarily based
on forces incurred during lift.