TABLE D.1 Technology Area Breakdown Structure for TA01, Launch Propulsion Systems

NASA Draft Roadmap (Revision 10) Steering Committee-Recommended Changes
TA01 Launch Propulsion Systems The structure of this roadmap remains unchanged.

1.1.   Solid Rocket Propulsion Systems


1.1.1.    Propellants


1.1.2.    Case Materials


1.1.3.    Nozzle Systems


1.1.4.    Hybrid Rocket Propulsion Systems


1.1.5.    Fundamental Solid Propulsion Technologies


1.2.     Liquid Rocket Propulsion Systems


1.2.1.    LH2/LOX Based


1.2.2.    RP/LOX Based


1.2.3.    CH4/LOX Based


1.2.4.    Detonation Wave Engines (Closed Cycle)


1.2.5.    Propellants


1.2.6.    Fundamental Liquid Propulsion Technologies


1.3.     Air Breathing Propulsion Systems


1.3.1.    Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC)


1.3.2.    Rocket Based Combined Cycle RBCC)


1.3.3.    Detonation Wave Engines (Open Cycle)


1.3.4.    Turbine Based Jet Engines (Flyback Boosters)


1.3.5.    Ramjet/Scramjet Engines (Accelerators)


1.3.6.    Deeply Cooled Air Cycles


1.3.7.    Air Collection & Enrichment System


1.3.8.    Fundamental Air Breathing Propulsion Technologies


1.4.     Ancillary Propulsion Systems


1.4.1.    Auxiliary Control Systems


1.4.2.    Main Propulsion Systems (Excluding Engines)


1.4.3.    Launch Abort Systems


1.4.4.    Thrust Vector Control Systems


1.4.5.    Health Management & Sensors


1.4.6.    Pyro & Separation Systems


1.4.7.    Fundamental Ancillary Propulsion Technologies


1.5.     Unconventional /Other Propulsion Systems


1.5.1.    Ground Launch Assist


1.5.2.    Air Launch /Drop Systems


1.5.3.    Space Tether Assist


1.5.4.    Beamed Energy /Energy Addition


1.5.5.    Nuclear


1.5.6.    High Energy Density Materials/Propellants



The panel has identified two top technical challenges for launch propulsion, listed below in priority order.

1. Reduced Cost: Develop propulsion technologies that have the potential to dramatically reduce the total cost and to increase reliability and safety of access to space.

One major barrier to any space mission is the high cost of access to space. In spite of billions of dollars in investment over the last several decades, the cost of launch has not decreased. In fact, with the end of the Space Shuttle Program and uncertainty in the future direction in human spaceflight, launch costs for NASA science missions are actually increasing. This is because without the space shuttle or a human spaceflight program, the propulsion industrial base is at significant overcapacity. The resulting high costs limit both the number and scope

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