Fully Reusable Access to Space Technology (FAST) Methane Rocket
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA PROPULSION DIRECTORATE
Pagination or Media Count:
This paper provides an overview of the Fully Reusable Access to Space Technology FAST program. The program is an Air Force Research Laboratory initiative to methodically mature the technologies required for next generation operationally responsive space access - an Air Force Space Command mission. Program goals and requirements are delineated as well as technology approaches. The acquisition strategy matures key technologies in ground experiments through 2011, and then integrates the experiments into a subscale X-aircraft for ground or potentially flight test by 2013. The airframe experiment includes propellant tanks, structure and thermal protection systems fabricated and tested at the X-aircraft scale. In addition, subsystems experiments shall be accomplished such as a Flight Operations Control Center, avionics, adaptive GNC, Integrated Systems Health Management, etc. An approach is also identified for either using an off-the-shelf propulsion system or a low cost, high ops tempo propulsion experiment. Key program goals include ensuring component demonstrations are scaleable to larger future operational systems, and that the technology demonstrations directly transition to fabrication and flight test of the experimental flight test vehicle. Potential future applications of the technologies are also briefly reviewed.
- Organic Chemistry
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies