image

FIGURE 2.1 Reusable booster system (RBS) baseline vehicles. Note that the RBS launching of Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle heavy payloads requires the added complexity of parallel staging of the first stage boosters. SOURCE: Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, “Reusable Booster System Costing, SMC Developmental Planning,” presentation to the committee, February 15, 2012. Approved for Public Release.

2.2 RBS SCHEDULE AND PROJECTED COSTS SUMMARIES

The costs and schedules of several RBS program scenarios were evaluated by the Air Force and the Aerospace Corporation.10 (Detailed evaluations of the cost estimates are provided in Chapter 4.) In addition to the AFRL-funded small-scale Pathfinder, the flight vehicles included in costs for the baseline scenario were an RBD and operational vehicles with one and two booster stages. The baseline RBS architecture included two Y vehicles, which are preproduction, full-scale models with the same mass properties and dynamics of the operational RBS vehicles, and which are planned to be converted into operational RBSs after being tested.11

Illustrations of the estimated annual recurring costs for the EELV and baseline RBS program are shown in Figure 2.2. For the baseline architecture, RBS annual recurring costs were estimated (Figure 2.3) to be about 47 percent of those for EELVs; this was the net result of estimated reductions in operation and production costs, respectively, of ~60 and 36 percent.12 A recommendation of the cost study was to fly Pathfinder and RBD vehicles to validate technical approaches and improve estimates of costs and operations.13 Key technical issues and associated schedules and costs are evaluated in Chapters 3 and 4, respectively.

_____________

10 AFSMC, “Reusable Booster System Costing, SMC Developmental Planning,” 2012. Approved for Public Release.

11 AFSMC, “Reusable Booster System Costing, SMC Developmental Planning,” 2012. Approved for Public Release.

12 AFSMC, “Reusable Booster System Costing, SMC Developmental Planning,” 2012. Approved for Public Release.

13 AFSMC, “Reusable Booster System Costing, SMC Developmental Planning,” 2012. Approved for Public Release.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement