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Mission design for point‑to‑point passenger transport with reusable launch vehicles

Wilken, Jascha and Callsen, Steffen (2023) Mission design for point‑to‑point passenger transport with reusable launch vehicles. CEAS Space Journal. Springer. doi: 10.1007/s12567-023-00498-9. ISSN 1868-2502.

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With the progress of SpaceX’s Starship system, a fully reusable launch system appears possible in the near future. With this technological advance, a new class of transport missions could become economically feasible: Rocket-propelled transport of passengers and cargo at near-orbital speeds from one point on the Earth to another. This mission type is investigated for two reference vehicles: Starship from SpaceX and the SpaceLiner concept, developed by DLR-SART. For both vehicles, the properties during reentry are assessed and the impact on the descent trajectory is investigated, including parametric studies with regard to the effect of launch heading and crossrange capability. While the SpaceLiner upper stage relies on its high hypersonic L/D to cover the majority of the distance in quasi-stationary flight within the atmosphere, the Starship relies mostly on a ballistic flight path at higher altitudes. The flight within the upper layers of the atmosphere allows the SpaceLiner to change its heading mid-flight through banking maneuvers and thus efficiently curve around populated areas. However, this prolonged flight at high velocities within the upper atmosphere does necessitate active cooling of the leading edges. An exemplary mission from Shanghai to California is optimized for both reference vehicles, with the optimization target being minimal peak heat loads. Due to the Starship’s reliance on the ballistic portion of its flight to cover range, the peak heat flux is substantially higher on westward missions, compared to the eastward return flight.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/196379/
Document Type:Article
Title:Mission design for point‑to‑point passenger transport with reusable launch vehicles
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Wilken, JaschaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5748-1261UNSPECIFIED
Callsen, SteffenUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5481-5403UNSPECIFIED
Date:6 May 2023
Journal or Publication Title:CEAS Space Journal
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Keywords:point-to-point mission design, hypersonic passenger transport, reusable launcher, trajectory optimization, hypersonic reentry
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space System Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Space System Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - System Analysis Space Transport (SART), R - Reusable Space Systems and Propulsion Technology
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Space Launcher Systems Analysis
Deposited By: Vormschlag, Nele Marei
Deposited On:10 Aug 2023 09:16
Last Modified:07 Sep 2023 12:48

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