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REUSABLE BOOSTER SYSTEM REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT Committee for the Reusable Booster System: Review and Assessment Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study is based on work supported by Contract FA2517-11-C-7001 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Air Force. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-26656-7 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-26656-4 Cover: Design by Tim Warchocki. Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sci- ences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of emi- nent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is admin- istered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.nationalacademies.org

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RECENT REPORTS OF THE AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD Continuing Kepler's Quest: Assessing Air Force Space Command's Astrodynamics Standards (Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board [ASEB], 2012) NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities: Restoring NASA's Technological Edge and Paving the Way for a New Era in Space (ASEB, 2012) Recapturing NASA's Aeronautics Flight Research Capabilities (ASEB, 2012) Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society (Space Studies Board [SSB] with ASEB, 2012) An Interim Report on NASA's Draft Space Technology Roadmaps (ASEB, 2011) Limiting Future Collision Risk to Spacecraft: An Assessment of NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs (ASEB, 2011) Preparing for the High Frontier--the Role and Training of NASA Astronauts in the Post-Space Shuttle Era (ASEB, 2011) Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era (SSB with ASEB, 2011) Summary of the Workshop to Identify Gaps and Possible Directions for NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs (ASEB, 2011) Advancing Aeronautical Safety: A Review of NASA's Aviation Safety-Related Research Programs (ASEB, 2010) Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research (Laboratory Assessments Board with ASEB, 2010) Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth-Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Final Report (SSB with ASEB, 2010) Final Report of the Committee to Review Proposals to the 2010 Ohio Third Frontier (OTF) Wright Projects Program (WPP) (ASEB, 2010) America's Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2009) An Assessment of NASA's National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (ASEB, 2009) Final Report of the Committee for the Review of Proposals to the 2009 Engineering and Physical Science Research and Commercialization Program of the Ohio Third Frontier Program (ASEB, 2009) Fostering Visions for the Future: A Review of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (ASEB, 2009) Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Radioisotope Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space Exploration (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Assessing the Research and Development Plan for the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Summary of a Workshop (ASEB, 2008) A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program (ASEB, 2008) Final Report of the Committee for the Review of Proposals to the 2008 Engineering Research and Commercialization Program of the Ohio Third Frontier Program (ASEB, 2008) Final Report of the Committee to Review Proposals to the 2008 Ohio Research Scholars Program of the State of Ohio (ASEB, 2008) Launching Science: Science Opportunities Provided by NASA's Constellation System (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Managing Space Radiation Risk in the New Era of Space Exploration (ASEB, 2008) NASA Aeronautics Research: An Assessment (ASEB, 2008) Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program: An Interim Report (ASEB, 2008) Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA's Constellation System: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2008) United States Civil Space Policy: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Wake Turbulence: An Obstacle to Increased Air Traffic Capacity (ASEB, 2008) Limited copies of ASEB reports are available free of charge from: Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (202) 334-2858/aseb@nas.edu www.nationalacademies.org/aseb.html

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COMMITTEE FOR THE REUSABLE BOOSTER SYSTEM: REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT DAVID M. VAN WIE, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Chair EDWARD H. BOCK, Lockheed Martin Space Systems (retired) YVONNE C. BRILL, INMARSAT (emerita) ALLAN V. BURMAN, Jefferson Solutions DAVID C. BYERS, Consultant LEONARD H. CAVENY, Caveny Tech, LLC ROBERT S. DICKMAN, AIAA MARK K. JACOBS, Consultant THOMAS J. LEE, Lee & Associates, LLC C. KUMAR N. PATEL, Pranalytica, Inc. DIANE ROUSSEL-DUPRE, Los Alamos National Laboratory ROBERT L. SACKHEIM, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (retired) POL D. SPANOS, Rice University MITCHELL L.R. WALKER, Georgia Institute of Technology BEN T. ZINN, Georgia Institute of Technology Staff JOHN WENDT, Senior Program Officer, Study Director AMANDA THIBAULT, Research Associate CATHERINE A. GRUBER, Editor TERRI BAKER, Senior Program Assistant (until March 30, 2012) RODNEY HOWARD, Senior Program Assistant (from April 1, 2012) MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board v

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AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD LESTER L. LYLES, The Lyles Group, Chair AMY L. BUHRIG, The Boeing Company, Vice Chair ELLA M. ATKINS, University of Michigan INDERJIT CHOPRA, University of Maryland, College Park JOHN-PAUL B. CLARKE, Georgia Institute of Technology RAVI B. DEO, EMBR VIJAY K. DHIR, University of California, Los Angeles EARL H. DOWELL, Duke University MICA R. ENDSLEY, SA Technologies DAVID GOLDSTON, Natural Resources Defense Council R. JOHN HANSMAN, JR., Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN B. HAYHURST, The Boeing Company (retired) WILLIAM L. JOHNSON, California Institute of Technology RICHARD KOHRS, Independent Consultant, Dickinson, Texas IVETT LEYVA, Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base ELAINE S. ORAN, Naval Research Laboratory HELEN L. REED, Texas A&M University ELI RESHOTKO, Case Western Reserve University EDMOND SOLIDAY, United Airlines (retired) Staff MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN, Administrative Coordinator TANJA PILZAK, Manager, Program Operations CELESTE A. NAYLOR, Information Management Associate CHRISTINA O. SHIPMAN, Financial Officer SANDRA WILSON, Financial Assistant vi

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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Brian Cantwell, Stanford University, John Casani, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Natalie W. Crawford, The RAND Corporation, Robert L. Crippen, U.S. Navy (retired) and Thiokol Propulsion (retired), David E. Crow, University of Connecticut and Pratt and Whitney (retired), Joseph Hamaker, The Millennium Group International, LLC, Debra Facktor Lepore, Stevens Institute of Technology, Lester L. Lyles, U.S. Air Force (retired) and The Lyles Group, and Alan Wilhite, Georgia Institute of Technology. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John D. Anderson, National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review com- ments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. vii

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Contents SUMMARY 1 1BACKGROUND 6 1.1 Spacelift Requirements and Objectives for National Security Payloads, 6 1.2 Reusable Booster System Approach and Potential Benefits, 7 1.3 Potential Expendable New Entrants, 7 1.4 NRC Evaluation of the Reusable Booster System, 9 1.5 Report Organization, 9 2 AIR FORCE EELV-CLASS LAUNCH REQUIREMENTS AND APPROACHES 10 2.1 Summary, 10 2.2 RBS Schedule and Projected Costs Summaries, 12 2.3 RBS Technical Program Summaries, 14 2.3.1 RBS Flight Vehicles, Operations, and Infrastructure, 14 2.3.2 Development Flight Vehicles, 19 2.3.3 RBS Ground-based R&D, 20 2.4 Additional Programmatic Considerations, 20 2.4.1 External Program Considerations, 20 2.4.2 Industrial Base, 20 2.5 RBS and Recent Reusable Vehicles, 21 3 REUSABLE BOOSTER SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT 23 3.1 Assessment of Technology Maturity of Key Elements, 23 3.2 Main Propulsion System, 24 3.2.1 Hydrocarbon-Fueled Booster Engine Risk Assessment, 27 3.2.2 Hydrocarbon-Fueled Booster Engine Risk Mitigation, 30 3.3 Rocketback RTLS Maneuver, 34 3.3.1 Aerodynamics Risk Assessment, 35 3.3.2 Thermal Protection/Thermal Control Risk Assessment, 35 ix

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x CONTENTS 3.3.3 Propellant Management, 36 3.3.4 Rocketback RTLS Maneuver Risk Reduction, 36 3.4 IVHM Architecture, 37 3.5 Adaptive Guidance and Control for Reusable Booster Systems, 38 3.6 Secondary Risk Areas, 41 3.6.1 Structures, 41 3.6.2 Power, Fluid Thermal, and Actuation R&D, 43 3.6.3 Assembly and Manufacturing, 43 3.6.4 Upper-Stage Development, 44 3.7 Operations and Infrastructure, 44 3.7.1 Range Safety, 46 3.7.2 Launch Readiness Reviews, 46 3.7.3 Spacecraft Processing, 47 3.7.4 Launch Vehicle Processing Options, 47 3.7.5 Booster and Upper Stage(s) Processing, 48 3.7.6 Booster/Upper Stage Integration and Checkout, 48 3.7.7 RBS Transport and Pad Installation, 48 3.7.8 Wet Dress Rehearsal, 48 3.7.9 Payload Integration, 49 3.7.10 Propellant Loading and Launch Countdown, 49 3.7.11 Exhaust Ducts and Acoustic Suppression System, 49 3.7.12 Flight Including Abort, 50 3.7.13 Booster Landing and Safing, 50 3.7.14 Postflight Booster Checkout, Maintenance, and Storage, 50 3.7.15 Booster Depot Maintenance, 50 3.8 Summary of RBS Risk Assessment and Mitigation Efforts, 50 4 COST ASSESSMENT 53 4.1 Baseline Cost Modeling Approach and Assessment Overview, 54 4.2 Assessment of Baseline Cost Modeling, 56 4.2.1 Vehicle, 57 4.2.2 Engines, 60 4.2.3 Facilities, 61 4.2.4 Operations, 61 4.2.5 Cost Modeling Assessment Summary, 63 4.3 RBS Business Case, 63 4.3.1 Approach and Assumptions, 63 4.3.2 Results, Sensitivities, and Uncertainty Ranges, 63 4.3.3 Impact of Commercial Activities, 64 4.4 Other Issues and Cost Considerations, 65 5 PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION 67 5.1 Phased Approach to the Reduction of Risk, 67 5.1.1 AG&C Development Phase, 68 5.1.2 IVHM Development Phase, 69 5.1.3 RBS Pathfinder Phase, 69 5.1.4 Booster Engine Development, 69 5.1.5 Reusable Booster Demonstrator Phase, 70 5.1.6 RBS Y-Vehicle Development and Demonstration Phase, 70 5.1.7 RBS Production Phase, 70

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CONTENTS xi 5.2 Programmatics, 70 5.2.1 Risk Reduction Tracking Approach, 70 5.2.2 Change Philosophy, 71 5.2.3 Configuration Identification and Management, 72 5.2.4 Cost Management, 72 5.3 Government Insight/Oversight, 72 5.3.1 Independent Technical Review, 73 5.3.2 Contractor Reporting Requirements, 73 5.3.3 Change Approval Approach, 73 5.3.4 Production Monitoring Approach, 74 5.3.5 Operations Approach, 74 5.4 Acquisition Strategy, 75 6 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 77 APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 83 B Committee Member and Staff Biographies 84 C List of Presenters to the Committee 91 D Acronyms and Abbreviations 92 E Selected Reusable Launch Vehicle Development History 95 F RBS Booster Design for Operability 100

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