CASPAR: Low-Cost, Dual-Manifest Payload Adapter for Minotaur IV
CSA ENGINEERING INC MOUNTAIN VIEW CA
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The Minotaur IV Launch Vehicle is being developed by the Air Force Rocket Systems Launch Program RSLP to utilize excess Peacekeeper missile motors and provide low-cost launches for Government payloads to Low Earth Orbit LEO. This vehicle uses three Peacekeeper stages, an Orion 38 motor, and avionics from the heritage Minotaur I vehicle. Nominal capability for Minotaur IV is almost 4000 lbm to LEO. The fly-away cost is just over 20 million. The Composite Adapter for Shared PAyload Rides CASPAR Multi-Payload Adapter MPA will enable a Minotaur IV to launch two large satellites 1000-2000 lbm for about 10 million each. The CASPAR MPA is being designed for projected Minotaur IV launch load environments, with design objectives of light weight, integrated vibration isolation, low shock, and modularity. An innovative composite design, including co-cured composite stiffening, provides a lightweight structure with optional access doors. Low-shock separation systems are integrated for MPA and satellite separation events. Vibration isolation systems protect the payloads from the dynamic environment of the Peacekeeper motor stack, and isolation tuning will enable a range of payloads and facilitate modular designs. Qualification testing of a full-scale adapter is planned for early 2006. Design variations are being considered for existing and new launch vehicles.
- Unmanned Spacecraft