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A Systematic Assessment and Comparison of Reusable First Stage Return Options

Stappert, Sven and Wilken, Jascha and Bussler, Leonid and Sippel, Martin (2019) A Systematic Assessment and Comparison of Reusable First Stage Return Options. In: Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC. 70th International Astronautical Congress, 21.10. - 25.10.2019, Washington DC, DC, USA.

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Interest in the reusability of launch vehicle first stages has strongly increased since the successful landing, recovering and reflight of SpaceX and Blue Origin booster stages. However, different possibilities of recovering and reusing stages exist and each method has its specific advantages and disadvantages. This paper focuses on the comparison of different return options investigated within the DLR projects AKIRA and X-TRAS. Return options that are taken into account include vertical take-off, vertical landing (VTVL) stages and winged vertical take-off, horizontal landing (VTHL) stages. Among the respective methods various options are considered and compared: return-to-launch-site, downrange landing, In-Air-Capturing and flyback with turbine engines. The characteristic flight conditions of the aforementioned return options considering ascent loads, atmospheric re-entry loads, dry mass increase, performance losses and launcher design are evaluated methodically. Since RLVs require additional operational equipment and measures compared to expendable launch vehicles, the required supplementary hardware, infrastructure and workload are identified. Furthermore, necessary modifications to existing hardware are evaluated and cost estimation methods are applied to obtain preliminary operational costs of landing ship operations, capturing aircraft operations and transportation operations. Further, preliminary production cost estimations with an adapted version of the cost model TRANSCOST are performed and the results are evaluated. Finally, the return options are compared with respect to their impact on performance, masses, return loads, operations and costs.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/133400/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:A Systematic Assessment and Comparison of Reusable First Stage Return Options
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Stappert, SvenUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8425-2779UNSPECIFIED
Wilken, JaschaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5748-1261UNSPECIFIED
Bussler, LeonidUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0657-4086UNSPECIFIED
Sippel, MartinUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7356-7575UNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:RLV, Reusability, VTVL, VTHL, Cost
Event Title:70th International Astronautical Congress
Event Location:Washington DC, DC, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:21.10. - 25.10.2019
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Transportation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R RP - Space Transportation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Raumfahrzeugsysteme - Systemanalyse Raumtransport (old), R - Wiederverwendbare Raumfahrtsysteme (old), R - Raumfahrzeugsysteme - Rückkehrtechnologie (old)
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Space Launcher Systems Analysis
Deposited By: Stappert, Sven
Deposited On:31 Jan 2020 08:56
Last Modified:31 Jan 2020 08:56

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