Accession Number:

AD0655342

Title:

ORBITAL BASING: KEY TO LOW COST SPACE OPERATIONS,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1967-07-01

Pagination or Media Count:

25.0

Abstract:

A comparison is made of some of the operational and cost-influencing characteristics of low-orbit space operations conducted from a manned orbital base and from an earth base. The earth-based mode of operation is that employed today, whereby expendable spacecraft are placed in mission orbits with expendable launch vehicles. In the orbital-basing concept the spacecraft are based at a manned space station, are injected into their mission orbits as required, and subsequently rendevous with the space station for rejuvenation and reuse. Reuse has long been considered the key to lowering the very high cost of space operations however, most reuse concepts studied in depth have involved recovery to earth of launch vehicles andor spacecraft. The reasons why development of reusable systems has not been initiated are many, prominent among which are these 1 Very significant weight penalties are associated with recovery gear, particularly orbital recovery gear 2 refurbishment costs and useful life of recovered vehicles are difficult to appraise and 3 traffic rates are not foreseen which are adequate to amortize R and D costs of billions of dollars over a reasonable time period. These problems are all associated with recovery, however, and can be avoided by reuse of equipment on orbit. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Manned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE